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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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Huge spike in ‘designer’ dogs going into rescue

News Story 1
 The RSPCA has reported a huge spike in the number of ‘designer’ dogs arriving into its care.

Figures published by the charity show there has been a 517 per cent increase in the number of French bulldogs arriving into its kennels. During that time, the charity has also seen an increase in dachshunds, chihuahuas, and crossbreeds.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “We know that the breeds of dog coming into our care often reflect the trends in dog ownership in the wider world and, at the moment, it doesn’t get more trendy than ‘designer’ dogs like French bulldogs and Dachshunds."

 

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AHDB Pork calls for stepped-up biosecurity

Pig farmers are being urged to step up biosecurity to reduce the risk of swine dysentery in their herds.

According to Farmers Weekly, AHDB Pork have confirmed cases in the north and east of the UK and is calling on producers to focus on hygiene to protect their animals.

Members of the AHDB Pork Significant diseases charter are reported to have been informed of the outbreaks.