Beavers: licences for possession

Beavers, whether alive or dead, are protected under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994.

If you have a dead beaver, or part of a dead beaver – including skin – that was collected since June 1994, you must have a licence to possess it legally. Licences that permit the capture or control of beavers will already cover possession.   

NatureScot can issue licences for the possession of beavers for scientific, research or educational purposes. For a licence to be issued, you must be able to clearly show the scientific or educational purpose.

Such a licence is used to permit, for example:

  • scientists to use beaver samples for research
  • museums, schools or ranger services to display dead beavers for educational purposes

How to apply

To apply for a licence to possess a dead beaver, email [email protected].

You should include:

  • your name, address and telephone number
  • the number and nature (whole or part) of individual specimens
  • the purpose of possession
  • the date and location where specimens were found
  • where specimens will be kept

Licence changes and renewals

You should get in touch if you wish to amend a licence. But check your licence conditions first: you may be able to appoint agents and assistants without having to get them named on your licence.

Find out about adding persons to a licence.

You must also remember to contact us to renew your licence. Licences aren’t renewed automatically.

Find out more

Data Protection notice


If you already have a licence number, include it in the subject line of your email, or have it to hand when you call.

Licensing Team

01463 725364

[email protected]

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