A rewilding charity is to challenge the Scottish Government’s nature agency NatureScot in court over what it sees as a failure to make the killing of beavers a genuine last resort.
Trees For Life has launched a £40,000 crowdfunding appeal to cover the costs of a Judicial Review.
Steve Micklewright, Trees for Life’s chief executive, said: “There is a strong legal case that NatureScot is breaking the law by failing to make killing of beavers a last resort when they have unwanted impacts on agricultural land."
Although all but a very small number of the beavers in Scotland originate from illegal releases or escapes the species has had protected status since May 2019.
An estimated 87 of the animals have been culled under NatureScot authorisation.
Trees for Life reckon this is about 20 per cent of the total number but famers and landowners in Tayside argue the real figure would be nearer 8 per cent of a rapidly spreading population.