Sunday, 6 July 2014

Stop the control freaks who want to capture England's wild beavers

The government is going against public opinion, and its reasons for wanting to rehome beavers in Devon fall apart easily

British people love wildlife, but the government, yet again, seems determined to show that it hates it.

An opinion poll in Scotland found that 86% of respondents were in favour of reintroducing the beaver. As most people seem to understand, it's a magnificent animal which can enrich our lives and our countryside. It was once part of our native fauna, but was exterminated by hunting. It's also a critically important species, essential to the functioning of aquatic ecosystems.

So when beavers were discovered, living and breeding on the River Otter in Devon, after they escaped from a collection somewhere, the public reaction was, overwhelmingly, delight. It's the first population to live freely in England for hundreds of years.

The five-year Scottish Beaver Trial at Knapdale in Argyll has also been wildly popular, drawing in visitors from all over Britain, entranced by the prospect of seeing this wonderful creature spreading once more into its native habitat.

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