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PE01601: European Beavers in Scotland

Rural Affairs

Petitioner: Andy Myles


Date Lodged: 20 March 2016

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to make an urgent decision about the legal status of the two populations of European beavers in Scotland, and to extend the full protection of law to the species.

Petition History:


30 June 2016: The Committee agreed to write to the Scottish Government. Link to Official Report 30 June 2016

29 September 2016: The Committee agreed to refer the petition to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee under Rule 15.6.2 of Standing Orders. Link to Official Report 29 September 2016

25 October 2016: The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee considered the petition and agreed to write to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform. Link to Official Report 25 October 2016

20 December 2016: The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee considered the petition and agreed to write to the petitioner, Andy Myles on PE1601 on European beavers in Scotland to seek his views on the petition and also write to the Scottish Government to provide an update on the timetable for European beavers to be protected under the law. 

31 January 2017: The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee considered the petition and agreed to close the petition and to write to the Scottish Government requesting details of the Strategic Environmental Assessment associated with the forthcoming SSI. 

Written Submissions: 

In response to reports of the killing of pregant and lactating European beavers in Scotland, the Scottish Government said it was "taking time to consider the issue." In the opinion of the petitioners, this prevarication is severely damaging to Scotland's reputation for the way we conserve our wildlife and natural heritage.

We have been looking at this issue within the Scottish policy community for well over 10 years, regularly taking tiny granny steps forward. The policy community, including the Scottish Government, now has vast quantities of information on the issue.

Unless the Scottish Government can tell us precisely what more information they still require to make a decision as to the precise legal status, their hesitation begins to look like nothing more than weakness when faced by a small, vocal group of Scottish landowners.

How many years are our Government going to drag out this painful affair before finally summoning up the courage to say that beavers are back in Scotland, they are here to stay, and they will have the full protection of the law like any other species? Will they declare that the beavers are not a game species? Will they declare that the are not "vermin"?


I am most disappointed that the Scottish Government have delayed for so long and have not had the courage to act in a positive manner. I am seriously considering withdrawing my support for the SNP.

David Butcher

22:17 on 16 Mar 2016

I think beavers are beneficial to other wildlife in Argyll, in particular.

Sally Taylor

8:50 on 13 Mar 2016

This is a significant opportunity to reinstate beavers to Scotland

Catriona Scriven

21:59 on 09 Mar 2016

Beavers bring so much to the environment and benefit all of us. Let's protect them.

Sheila Dorsett

16:08 on 08 Mar 2016

It would be a travesty if the bears were not accepted back as part of Scotland's wildlife and ecology.

Gordon Holm

14:06 on 08 Mar 2016

We , the "clever" co- occupiers should invest our considerable resources in consideration of the right off ALL to go- exist . And don't forget the tired scared humans , bobbing about in the Med , or wherever, ALL

Ray Donegan

21:22 on 07 Mar 2016

Beavers are wonderful and hard working elements of our native ecosystems, and should be welcomed back with open arms!

K. Haw

14:53 on 07 Mar 2016

These mammals are worth a lot of money to tourism and river management.

John Miles

8:52 on 07 Mar 2016

Scotland is known for its great wildlife. that's why many people go there!

Ingo Schuder

8:23 on 07 Mar 2016

I have just watched beaver trapping and relocation in the US. Killing beavers should be illegal, at worst we should relocate, but they help with flooding so this should be subject to an environmental audit.

Eileen McCann

10:55 on 06 Mar 2016

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