How the Beaver Families Won the Legal ‘Right to Remain’

Must Read

India’s International ‘Retrospective Taxation’ Regime Vis-a-Vis PCA Rulings in Vodafone and Cairn in 2020

The imposition of retrospective taxation of foreign companies doing business in India has been at the helm of controversy...

What is the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016?

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (“RERA”) is an Act of the Parliament. It seeks to protect...

Should the Exorbitant Amounts Charged for RT-PCR Tests be Refunded?

Introduction A plea has been filed in the Honourable Supreme Court of India seeking a refund of exorbitant amounts charged...

Should CCTV’s be Installed in the Police Station?

Introduction In a recent judgment, the bench led by Justice Nariman issued directions to both the state and Union Territory...

A Legal Analysis of the West Bengal Political Crisis on IPS Deputation

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has recently summoned three IPS officers of West Bengal (WB). The decision was...

Explained: Postal Ballot for NRIs

At the end of November 2020, Election Commission sent a proposal to the law ministry to amend the Representation...

Follow us

Environment and modernization are considered to be apart. Climate change is a reality we are facing. Our environment needs more attention now than ever! In such a situation, a decision like this has the potential to reflect the importance of wildlife conservation and the benefits that are shared.


Beavers had been extinct in England since the last 400 years, until 2013. In 2013, a surprising video showed a family of beavers on the aptly-named Otter River, in Devon, England. With this appearance, they garnered the interests of various researchers and environmentalists in England. 

Devon Wildlife Trust conducted a detailed study. They researched beavers and their impact on the environment for almost five years. Their study shed light on the positive effects they had brought with their presence on the Otter River. The River Otter beaver trial showed that the animals’ skill replenished and enhanced the ecology of the river catchment in East Devon. You can read the full report here.

Beavers have been termed as Nature’s engineers, as they create dams underwater. This, in fact, reduces the chances of homes flooding downstream. They have also improved the fish biomass and water quality of the river.

The Right to Remain

In a landmark decision, 15 Beaver Families were given the legal right to remain at the Otter-River in Devon. The decision was taken after looking at the astonishing positive aspects pointed out in the Devon Wildlife Study. They’re the first extinct native mammal to get government backing to be reintroduced.

This is not in isolation. Other factors are yet to be considered. The farmers and landowners will be provided with special assistance.  Natural England will be taking up the responsibility to draft a unique management approach so that a healthy ecosystem is maintained.

This move is one step of the many. The Government has outlined a 25 Years Environment Plan which highlights key targets like clean air, minimizing waste and so on. You can read the jet highlights of the plan here. A significant mention is also given to thriving plants and wildlife. This report was chalked out in 2016 and updated in 2019. This landmark decision is undoubtedly a step in the right direction.

The decision is facing criticism. Critics say that the beavers can trouble the framers and disrupt the fish population of the river. However, the Government is already planning a Land Management plan that will aim at ensuring less or no trouble to farmers.

This is not the first time such a landmark decision has been made. European beavers were successfully reintroduced into the wild in Scotland more than a decade ago, and in 2016 were given legal permission to remain by the devolved Government in Edinburgh.

Indian Context

India has also taken measures to protect its environment. We have been privy to various conventions and treaties in the environment. We have also successfully incorporated the principles like Polluter Pays and Sustainable Development in our Environmental Jurisprudence.

We also have various legislations on Environment and Wildlife protection. Judiciary has played a pivotal role in bringing the concept of Environmental Jurisprudence to life. One such judgment was delivered on 4th July 2018 by the Uttarakhand High Court. The Hon’ble Court in Narayan Dutt Bhatt v Union of India & Others (Writ Petition (PIL) No. 43 of 2014),  effectively granted legal personhood to “the entire animal kingdom including avian and aquatic,” with the citizens in the State of Uttarakhand being declared “persons in loco parentis as the human face for the welfare/protection of animals.”

Although we have all the legislation in place, their implementation remains a significant hurdle till date. Since most of the laws have been drafted decades ago, the fines prescribed in them are still very less. This leads to a lenient attitude towards obeying these laws. Moreover, the lesser conviction rates in these cases add to lenient behaviour.


In conclusion, the author would like to say that we need more such decisions. The environment can not be neglected especially during these times. Climate change is at its peak, so is development and modernization. Law is a tool that is vital during these times. If implemented correctly, it can create a better future for all. It will help in coexistence with humans with the environment around us.

We need better laws, better policies and most importantly, better implementation for a healthy and green future. is now on Telegram. Follow us for regular legal updates and judgments from the Court. Follow us on Google NewsInstagramLinkedInFacebook & Twitter. You can also subscribe to our Weekly Email Updates. You can also contribute stories like this and help us spread awareness for a better society. Submit Your Post Now.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest News

Doctrine of Proportionality Must Adhere to Reasonableness Principal Test: Madras High Court

Young Men's Christian Association built a commercial complex and leased it without having due permission. The District Collector & Tahsildar issued a show-cause notice...

Delhi High Court Refuses To Stay Release of ‘The White Tiger’ on the OTT Platform Netflix

A plea requesting a stay on the release of the film ‘The White Tiger’ by the American producer, John Hart Jr. alleging copyright violation was rejected by the Delhi High Court on Thursday.

“Anganwadi Centers to Be Reopened Outside the Containment Zones, Which Is to Be Decided by the State”: Supreme Court

This case concerns the reopening of the Anganwadi Centers after they had been closed due to the lockdown being imposed.  Brief facts of the case This...

“Credit Facilities Being Granted by the Primary Agricultural Credit Society to the Non-Members Is No Longer Illegal”: Supreme Court

This Case concerns the dispute relating to the grant of tax exemption under Section 80P of the Income Tax Act, 1961.  Brief facts of the...

Back Wages of Labourers is a Question of Facts Depending Upon Various Factors: Gujarat High Court

The petition has been filed by workmen and employer against an award dated 23.04.2009 passed by the Labour Court, Bhuj in the case of...

WhatsApp Messages Would Have No Evidentiary Value Until They Are Certified According to Section 65b of the Indian Evidence Act: Punjab & Haryana High...

Brief facts of the case Paramjit Kaur, the proprietor of Brioshine Pharma, a licensed chemist, booked two consignments. The first consignment, on 10.06.2020 and the,...

Delhi High Court Seeks Response From Centre, RBI in PIL to Regulate Online Lending Platforms

A notice had been issued by the Delhi HC in a PIL that sought regulation of online lending platforms (Dharanidhar Karimojji vs UOI). Brief Facts: The...

“Consensual Affair” Cannot Be Defence Against the Charge of Kidnapping of the Minor, Sentence Reduced in View of Age Difference: Supreme Court

This Case concerns the appeal against the conviction under the charges of kidnapping and discussed whether the punishment was to be enhanced or not.   Brief...

Delhi HC to Municipal Corp: Paucity of Funds Not an Excuse for Non-Payment of Salaries and Pensions

The Delhi High Court ruled that the paucity of funds cannot be an excuse and pulled up municipal corporations for not paying salaries and pensions to their employees as the right to receive payment is a fundamental right guaranteed in our constitution.

US Supreme Court Reinstates Restriction on Abortion Pills

The Supreme Court of the United States granted the Trump administration’s request to reinstate federal rules requiring women to make in-person visits to hospitals...

More Articles Like This

- Advertisement -