Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Wild beavers spotted in Devon to be 'rehomed'

Beavers living wild in Devon are to be caught and "rehomed" in captivity, the government has said.

A recent sighting of three beavers in the River Otter was said to have been the first of its kind for centuries.

BeaversThe Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) said they could be carrying a disease "not currently present in the UK".

Environment Minister George Eustice said the government was considering "the best way" of rehoming the animals.

The beavers have been spotted at several places along the River Otter, between Budleigh Salterton and Ottery St Mary.

Defra said it needed to assess the impact of beavers before allowing them into the wild

In a Parliamentary answer, Mr Eustice said: "We intend to recapture and rehome the wild beavers in Devon and are currently working out plans for the best way to do so.

"All decisions will be made with the welfare of the beavers in mind."

He added there were "no plans to cull beavers".

Beavers were hunted to extinction in England and Wales during the 12th Century.

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