Licence to control beavers in Scotland: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004

Information requested

1. a) how many Beavers have been killed under licence in Scotland since the Beaver reintroduction programme started in 2016?
2. b) a reason for any Beavers who have been killed to be supplied.


The answer to the first part of your request, “how many Beavers have been killed under license in Scotland since the Beaver reintroduction programme started in 2016?” is 87. Licences to control Beavers in Scotland were introduced in May 2019, prior to this no licences were issued to kill Beavers.

The answer to the second part of your request, “a reason for any Beavers who have been killed to be supplied” is that “all lethal control licences were issued for the purpose of preventing serious damage to agriculture[1] and all but one of these (97.5%) were issued on Prime Agricultural Land.”[2]

Further information can be found in the Scottish Natural Heritage report ‘SNH Beaver Licensing Summary 1st May to 31st December 2019’ which was published on the 28 May 2020 and is available on their website at

[1] Under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994, 44(2)(g) the purpose is given as ‘preventing serious damage to livestock, foodstuffs for livestock, crops, vegetables, fruit, growing timber or any other form of property or fisheries.’

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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