Meeting to discuss future of beavers

14:43 14 August 2014

Wild beavers in the River Otter. Picture by Tom Buckley.

Wild beavers in the River Otter. Picture by Tom Buckley.

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Experts from a leading conservation charity will be in East Devon next week to answer questions and gauge public opinion on a family of beavers living wild in the River Otter.

The group, which is thought to be England’s only example of the animals living in the wild, could be ‘recaptured and rehomed’ under plans announced by the department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) in June.

In response, the Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) is set to host a meeting at The Institute in Ottery St Mary on Tuesday, August 19, at 3pm and 7.30pm to find out what residents think.

The DWT believes the beavers, which have been seen as far downstream as White Bridge, should be left alone. However, the charity says it will only fight for them to stay if the animals are monitored and there is sufficient local support.

But officials at Defra say that because it is not known where the beavers came from, they could be carrying a disease not currently present in the UK.

Anyone unable to attend the meeting can email their views to devonwildbeavers@devonwildlifetrust.org.

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