Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of the wild release of beavers on (a) local economies and (b) the environment.
Any application for a licence to release beaver would need to make an assessment of the potential impact on the environment and local economic interests as part of the application process and in accordance with the Code for Reintroductions. Natural England undertook an assessment, published in 2021, of the findings from the River Otter trial in Devon, which is the only licenced wild release of beavers in England.
We are continuing to undertake further work with Natural England to develop our approach to the reintroduction of beaver in England.