From 1 May 2019 Eurasian Beaver have been afforded protection as European Protected Species in Scotland. If works are planned that will affect beaver habitat, breeding sites, and the welfare of the animal, a licence will be required to ensure that actions are only taken when necessary and with due regard to animal welfare. A mitigation package is likely to be required, and may include plans for habitat creation and the timing of works. Our staff have experience in survey and mitigation design for beavers.
If management activities are undertaken they should take account of animal welfare. In particular, care must be taken between April and mid-August when female beavers may have dependent young that are still in the lodge or natal burrow. Any actions affecting lodges or chambered burrows, including removal of dams, which may often protect breeding sites, should aim to avoid this period wherever possible. Lethal control should only be employed as a last resort and where there is no other satisfactory solution. There are a range of other measures that may be applicable to help alleviate any particular problems that are being experienced and that can provide a long-term solution and we would be happy to provide advice in this respect.
It remains an offence to allow beavers to escape from captivity or to release a beaver without a licence from SNH.