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Cattle pesticides killing off dung beetles - study
Researchers hope their findings will help to inform farmers about the negative impacts of the pesticides.
Damage could result in economic loss for farmers 

The prolonged use of some pesticides to treat cattle for parasites is having a detrimental effect on dung beetles, according to new research.

The study, published in the journal Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, looked at 24 cattle farms across south-west England and found that farms that used certain pesticides had fewer species of dung beetle.

Study leader Dr Bryony Sands from the University of Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences said: “Dung beetles recycle dung pats on pastures, bringing the nutrients back into the soil and ensuring the pastures are fertile.

“Damage to dung beetle populations is, therefore, concerning, and could result in economic loss for farmers.”

The study is the first landscape-scale project to show that long-term use of the pesticides has a negative impact on dung beetle populations on farms. Study co-author Professor Richard Wall first discovered 30 years ago that pesticide residues in dung could kill dung beetles.

Dr Sands added: “It is now clear that long-term use of these pesticides could cause declines in beetle biodiversity on a large scale.”

The study also found that synthetic pyrethroids pesticides were not as damaging to dung beetles as macrocyclic lactone pesticides. In general, these pesticides are considered a safer alternative for farmers who want to protect biodiversity on their farms.

Researchers hope their findings will help to inform farmers about the negative impacts of the pesticides, some of which now carry warning labels. 

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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