Monday, 21 March 2016

Scottish farmers call for urgent action to remove wild beavers

Beavers are damaging low lying arable farmland in Tayside after escaping or being illegally released into the countryside

By Auslan Cramb, Scottish Correspondent
12:01AM GMT 19 Mar 2016

Wild beavers have invaded the “bread basket of Scotland” and are threatening to destroy valuable arable land unless action is taken to cull or remove them, angry farmers have warned.

An estimated 200 Eurasian beavers living on Tayside have for several years been damming drainage channels, felling trees and burrowing into flood banks on some of the country’s best farmland.

The farmers forced to deal with the feral rodents have warned ministers there is now a stark choice to be made between beavers and food production on low lying land.

Euan Walker-Munro, who farms mixed cereals and potatoes outside Kirriemuir in Angus, called on Scotland’s next environment minister, after the Holyrood election May, to “show real leadership” on the issue.

The big issue is the choice between farming or unrestricted wildlife reintroduction

He wants action to remove beavers from the area, regardless of protests from “the green lobby and mainly urban voters”, adding: “We’ve been banging the drum since 2007 but nobody’s been bloody listening.”
Beavers have multiplied across a large tract of land between Loch Tay and the Fife coast since they first escaped, or were deliberately, and illegally, released into the environment as early as 2002.

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