Two beavers have been shot and another five were seen dead on Tayside in the last month, an investigation by The Ferret has revealed.
Farmers blamed for blocking legal protection for beavers, allowing more to be shot.
Scottish Government plans to simultaneously introduce legal protection to beavers while giving licences to land managers to shoot them have raised concerns.
An investigation by Scotland's information watchdog has lambasted ministers for their “poor” approach to freedom of information law.
Farmers and gamekeepers are shooting “as many beavers as possible” on Tayside before they are brought under legal protection, according to emails released by the Scottish Government.
Emails reveal landowners have been inhumanely shooting beavers and causing them to suffer slow, painful deaths.