Saturday, 28 June 2014

Save the Devon beavers


Terrible news. It seems as though DEFRA's 'eye of Mordor' has finally turned on the wild beavers living in Devon. In a recent question to Parliament a junior Minister said it was their intention to capture and re-home the beavers. That can mean only one thing. Captivity, or possibly death. When the Scottish government tried something similar with wild beavers there, the first captured animals died in the zoo.

Beavers were once found right across Britain until they were hunted to extinction for fur. Now, thankfully, they are making a return - helping to increase biodiversity, prevent flooding and bring joy back to a denuded landscape. Some have been introduced 'officially', others have escaped from wildlife parks.The origins of the Devon beavers are unclear, but we do know that they are European beavers, they are a native species, and for the last few years they have been quietly raising their families and chewing leaves and bark in the streams of England. They should be left alone to get on with it. The local people see that, why not the government? 

Sadly, the fact that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has turned its attention on the beavers is unsurprising. They have form. From the unscientific and pointless badger cull and the aborted privatisation of forests, to its desperate attempts to preserve the use of toxic bee killing pesticides, rarely has their been a department more in thrall to special interest groups and industrial lobbies. It is an organisation totally unfit to manage wildlife.

We need to stop the removal of these animals. Whether we believe that we need to create a wilder, greener and more biodiverse world, or whether we just like beavers, this is an important fight. DEFRA is bruised and battle hardened. They have no reputation to lose. But they have backed down on the badgercull, and they will do it again. We can win. 

UPDATE! - The first of the obligatory PETITIONS is now up - PLEASE SIGN.

Watch this space - and let's save the Free Beavers of Devon.  

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