The Scottish Government have announced that Beavers in Scotland are to receive legal protection.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:
“I have been determined to find a pragmatic approach, which balances the biodiversity benefits of reintroducing beavers with the obvious need to limit difficulties for our farmers.
“I want to put on record my appreciation of the efforts of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, NFU Scotland, the Royal Scottish Zoological Society, and Scottish Land and Estates who have worked in partnership to set out a way forward.
“Beavers promote biodiversity by creating new ponds and wetlands, which in turn provide valuable habitats for a wide range of other species.
“We want to realise these biodiversity benefits while limiting adverse impacts on farmers and other land users. This will require careful management.
“Today’s announcement represents a major milestone in our work to protect and enhance Scotland’s world renowned biodiversity.
“But I want to be absolutely clear that while the species will be permitted to extend its range naturally, further unauthorised releases of beavers will be a criminal act.
“Swift action will be taken in such circumstances to prevent a repeat of the experience on Tayside.”