Scottish Government Ministers said they were aware of the disruption beavers had caused to farming operations across the country, as they announced a series of measures to protect the species while a decision was taken on their long-term future.
Ministers have been working closely with Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and senior animal health experts to provide advice to farmers and landowners impacted by the animals.
Environment Minister Aileen McLeod said: “We understand there are those for whom beaver activity can pose problems – particularly farmers with low-lying areas, often with highly productive farms but which are at risk of flooding or waterlogging from the damming activities of beavers.
“We are working closely with SNH, who are providing advice on mitigation and alternatives to lethal control but also guidelines regarding welfare considerations arising from the shooting of beavers, where this is the only option available.”
Ms McLeod said she was concerned about beavers being killed during the breeding season and asked land managers to take heed of advice, particularly when there was likely to be dependent young and shooting was discouraged.
She added: “The use of Nature Conservation Orders are available to us and should evidence emerge that welfare concerns for beavers are being ignored, we will look to use these powers to protect beavers in specific areas.”