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Defra backs tougher rules on neonicotinoids
A growing body of scientific evidence shows neonicotinoids are harmful to bees and other pollinators.
Scientific evidence ‘justifies further restrictions’ - Gove 

Environment secretary Michael Gove has said the UK will support tougher restrictions on the use of neonicotinoids, as a growing body of scientific evidence shows they are harmful to bees and other pollinators.

There is currently an EU-wide ban on the use of three neonicotinoids (clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) on a number of crops that are attractive to bees, such as oilseed rape.

The European Commission has proposed to further restrict these pesticides, so they can only be used on plants in glasshouses. Currently their use is allowed for treating sugar beet and as seed treatment for winter cereals.

Mr Gove said tougher restrictions are justified by scientific evidence on the risks posed to the environment and pollinators. Unless the evidence changes, the government will maintain these restrictions after Brexit.

The move follows advice from the government’s advisory body on pesticides.

“I’ve always been clear I will be led by the science on this matter,” Mr Gove said. “The weight of evidence now shows the risks neonicotinoids pose to our environment, particularly to the bees and other pollinators which play such a key part in our £100 billion food industry, is greater than previously understood.

“I believe this justifies further restrictions on their use. We cannot afford to put our pollinator populations at risk.”

Mr Gove added that he understands the impact that further restrictions will have on farmers and is keen to work with them to investigate alternative approaches.

If the European Commission’s proposal is adopted, the UK would be able to consider emergency authorisations in exceptional circumstances, when the risk to pollinators is sufficiently low.

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Amur leopard cubs caught on camera

News Story 1
 A pair of Amur leopards have been captured on camera for the first time since their birth. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland announced the birth in July, but with human presence being kept to a minimum, it was not known how many cubs had been born.

Motion sensitive cameras have now revealed that two cubs emerged from the den - at least one of which may be released into the wild in Russia within the next two or three years. The Amur leopard habitat is not open to the public, to help ensure the cubs retain their wild instincts and behaviour. Image © RZSS 

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News Shorts
New canine and feline dentistry manual announced

A new canine and feline dentistry and oral surgery manual has been published by the BSAVA. Announcing the news on its website, the BSAVA said this latest edition contains new step-by-step operative techniques, together with full-colour illustrations and photographs.

‘This is a timely publication; veterinary dentistry is a field that continues to grow in importance for the general veterinary practitioner,’ the BSAVA said. ‘The manual has been fully revised and updated to include the most relevant, evidence-based techniques.’

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry and Oral Surgery, 4th edition is available to purchase from www.bsava.com/shop