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To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-13048 by Roseanna Cunningham on 11 December 2017, what its response is to reports that beavers are being killed in large numbers in parts of Tayside and, in light of this, what progress it is making in bringing forward the Scottish Statutory Instrument to provide protected status, and by what date this will be (a) laid and (b) come into force.

Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (14/05/2018):

The Scottish Government has not received any reports in the past year that beavers are being deliberately killed in Tayside. A survey which will report on changes to the distribution and density of the wild beaver population in Scotland between 2012 and 2018 will be published later this year by Scottish Natural Heritage.

The Scottish Statutory Instrument (SSI) which will provide protection to beavers will be laid before the Scottish Parliament when actions required by the Strategic Environmental Assessment process are satisfactorily completed. We are currently analysing the responses received to the Consultation on the Beavers in Scotland, Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report (2017). The SSI will add beavers to Schedule 2 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994. Following Scottish Parliamentary approval, beavers would be classified as a European Protected Species. The Scottish Government aims to have this work completed by the autumn of this year.

Current Status: Answered by Roseanna Cunningham on 14/05/2018
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