Perthshire North MSP, John Swinney, has reacted to the Scottish Government’s decision to allow beaver populations across Tayside, and other parts of Scotland, to remain.
In an announcement made by Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, the Scottish Government confirmed that beavers will require “careful management” in their current environments so as to “limit adverse impacts on farmers and other land users”. The Environment Secretary added that unauthorised releases of beavers will continue to be a criminal act.
Commenting on the decision, Mr Swinney said:
"Roseanna Cunningham has taken great care to consider the issue of the re-introduction of the beaver, on which there are sharply differing views. There is a large population in the Tayside area and the Government has set out what I consider to be a fair and rational approach to their management.
“I am grateful to Roseanna Cunningham for the lengths she has gone to engage with my constituents of different opinions to find a way forward."
The Scottish Government’s decision means that beavers will be added to Scotland’s list of protected species. Whilst highlighting the “biodiversity benefits” the species can bring, the Government has also recognised the potential impact beavers can have on farmers and land users. Management techniques will therefore be permitted in order to prevent damage to land or valuable trees. The Scottish Government will also provide advice and assistance to farmers in order to help them implement mitigation and prevention measures.