Beavers were hunted for various purposes in medieval era and later as well. The hunting reached a point where beavers were gone extinct in Scotland. But apparently they could be back after four centuries of hiatus. Scottish environmentalists have been making efforts to import a large sum of beavers from Norway. The Ecology Organization of Scotland is rather keen on releasing beavers once again in the natural environment of Scotland to observe the changes; which they hope would be positive changes.
Environmentalists and ecologists are the main groups of people supporting the reintroduction premise. Beavers have played a vital role in preserving the ecosystem of Scotland. Environmentalists believe that indeed the reintroduction of beavers is an extremely essential step that has to be taken soon in order to bring back the rivers to their natural shape and form. It is also believed that reintroduction of beavers would not only have positive effects for water streams but also other wildlife, for example fish and voles.
Enthusiastic supporters also believe that there is an ethical obligation to bring back to Scotland what was lost. The degradation of the past has to be overturned according to those who support the decision. Supporters of the decision also explain that since 1920s, a number of European countries have reintroduced beavers and saw no catastrophes afterward and therefore Scotland is no exception.
Supporters also use beavers’ attribute in their favor; for example beavers are entirely herbivorous and considered to be generally timid or shy animals that do not interfere in human activities. Beavers’ presence in the region would also help to prosper economy as natural surroundings would be restored with the passage of time, thus leading to a larger tourist attraction.
On the other hand, there is a considerable amount of opposition to the decision as well. Namely farmers, landowners and the residents of the area where beavers are supposed to be released are particularly against the decision of reintroducing beavers. Beavers are seen as a potential threat to the crops and ultimately the economic aspect of life; that is also one of the reasons why beavers were severely hunted down around 400 years ago. The domestic people also counter reintroduction of beavers because apart from crops they also become a danger to fishermen and forestry.
These groups of people also claim that beavers are fundamentally harmful because they carry various contagious diseases with them, foremost Giardiasis. Giardiasis is a disease that strictly damages human immune system; however these claims are utterly denied by environmentalists who think that these accusations are just a part of the big picture of stopping the reintroduction venture altogether.
Opposition also claims that if beavers are to be reintroduced, it would make the place barren thus contributing to an overall decline in economy of the country. The area highly relies on tourism and agriculture and both aspects would be brutally affected by reintroduction of beavers.