Beavers are slightly off topic for this blog, although they featured on here earlier this year when Scottish charity Trees for Life was crowdfunding to support an application for judicial review against NatureScot (formerly SNH) for allowing too many beavers to be killed under licence instead of exploring all other non-lethal avenues first (see here).
The Trees for Life crowdfunder was successful (here), helped along by many of this blog’s readers (thank you) and also by a £5K contribution from Wild Justice.
[Photo by Scotland: The Big Picture]
Trees for Life applied to the court for permission to proceed with their judicial review and the Scottish Court of Session granted that permission in February 2021, which means that a judge considered there was a valid legal challenge to be made with every chance of success (see here).
The case is due to be heard this year.
Meanwhile, on a slightly tangential note, the National Farmers Union Scotland (NFUS) has been whipping up hysteria about white-tailed eagles in western Scotland and the apparent ‘need’ to control them (which includes a proposal for ‘problem’ eagles to be shot) but I’ll be blogging about that separately.
The reason I raise that now, in this blog about beavers, is because the NFUS has written to its members about the Trees for Life judicial review on beavers, and it has announced it is joining forces with landowners’ lobby group Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) to help support NatureScot to try and defend the judicial review.
Why? Because according to the NFUS, if Trees for Life wins the judicial review, along with ‘uninformed pressure’ from conservationists, then there may be implications for the ‘control’ (killing) of other species including ‘sea eagles, badgers, geese and ravens’.
Here is a copy of the letter from the NFUS to its members, dated 7 April 2021 (thanks to the blog reader who sent me a copy):
It’ll be fascinating to read the NFUS / SLE legal argument for killing beavers as a first instead of a last resort; a legal argument that they ‘strongly believe is not understood by Trees for Life‘.
We’ll need to wait for court papers to emerge before any of this is made public.