It is encouraging that Mr Swire is doing something to put pressure on the seemingly paranoid DEFRA, however, the answer is surely to abandon the expensive and unnecessary capture plans, rather than risk the animals becoming ill or dying in captivity either before or after they are operated on and tested for a disease that Public Health England are apparently unconcerned about them having.

If the kits are separated from the parents, they will probably die, either in captivity or on the river. They rely on their parents for warmth and food.

I have asked Mr Swire twice now if he will urge DEFRA to abandon the plans, to no avail.

On Friday I received a letter from Lord De Mauley via Mr Swire, confirming that DEFRA intends to capture them this year.

Friends of the Earth has launched a legal challenge on the basis that the animals are protected by EU law and so cannot be lawfully captured.  So now, the government, with its massive financial problems could face a huge legal bill, on top of the capture and testing programme bill, which is likely to cost tens of thousand of pounds….. and for what? 

To remove a group of native animals that local people have fallen in love with and that are living happily and harmlessly on a local river.

Our beavers are the only wild beavers in England. Leave them alone!!

Photograph:  Ottery people vote unanimously in favour of the beavers remaining on the Otter, at a Devon Wildlife Trust consultation event in August.