• Consultation event to take place on the beavers remaining on the Otter

    8th August 2014 | News | Claire
  • The presence of the beavers has caused a storm of controversy lately, with two national online campaigns taking off, after DEFRA confirmed that it intended to capture the beavers and put them in a zoo or wildlife park.

    Channel 4 News has filmed locally and the story has been covered by almost all the national newspapers.

    I wrote to Hugo Swire, East Devon’s MP, when it became apparent that the shadow of DEFRA was looming over the animals. He has since met with DEFRA minister, Lord De Morley and representatives from Devon Wildlife Trust.

    Most local people seem to be baffled by DEFRA’s desire to see them rounded up and want them to continue living here peacefully.

    Ministers now appear to have reined back on the threat to put the beavers in a zoo, but still seem to be worried about the possibility of a disease, which if the animals are carrying could be passed on to other animals or humans. The chance of this is remote but it is a threat pushed hard by the Angling Trust.

    No one knows how the beavers came to be living on the Otter but it is thought that they could have been living there for several years. 

    In other parts of the country beavers have been successfully reintroduced to the wild under a licensing programme.

    Find out more about the Otter’s beavers here – http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/devons-wild-beavers/

    Beavers are a native species and were driven to extinction here hundreds of years ago, as they were hunted for their fur. I believe that we now have a responsibility to allow them to return to our rivers. If they are disease free, then there is every reason for them to remain here.

    Devon Wildlife Trust’s event takes place on Tuesday 19 August at the Institute, Yonder Street. From 3pm there a drop-in event – and from 7.30pm there are talks about the beavers, and and open forum with further opportunities to give your view.

    If you are unable to attend please give your views via .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  or ring 01392 279244.