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Vigilance urged following unconfirmed sighting of Asian hornet
"By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets".

Species a risk to honeybees and other pollinators. 

The British Beekeepers Association is urging vigilance following an unconfirmed sighting of an Asian hornet nest in Monmouthshire.

The Association has set up a special local taskforce called the 'Home Guard' - as reported by BBC News - and is calling on members of the public to look out for nests both in their sheds and while out on walks.

Native to southeast Asia, the Asian hornet poses a risk to honeybees and other pollinating insects. Since 2016, there have been a total of 17 confirmed sightings of the Asian hornet in England and nine nests have been destroyed.

A Defra spokesperson said: “By ensuring we are alerted to possible sightings as early as possible, we can take swift and effective action to stamp out the threat posed by Asian hornets.

“While the Asian hornet poses no greater risk to human health than a bee, we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies and other beneficial insects.Please continue to look out for any Asian hornets and if you think you’ve spotted one, report your sighting through the Asian hornet app or online.”

Asian hornets are identifiable by their dark brown or black, velvet-like body. They also have yellow-tipped legs, a yellow/orange band on the fourth segment of their abdomen and are smaller than the native European hornet.

Until now, the most recent sighting of an Asian hornet in the UK was near Christchurch, Dorset on 1 October 2019. The nest discovered in Monmouthshire has been destroyed.

The Asian hornet is thought to have entered Europe in 2004 and is widespread in parts of France, Spain, the Channel Islands and Portugal.

Suspected sightings of Asian hornet should be reported via the Hornet Watch App or by email to alertnonnative@ceh.ac.uk. Alternatively, you can fill in an online report form.

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New 'DoggyLottery' to raise funds for rescue centres

News Story 1
 A new 'DoggyLottery' to raise funds for dog rescue centres in the UK will launch on Saturday (4 July). Every four weeks, five different rescue centres will be connected to the lottery, providing much-needed funds - particularly during COVID-19 - and providing vital online exposure.

A weekly game costs £1.50 and entrants will have the chance of being one of 20 guaranteed winners. A massive 60 per cent of the raised funds will go towards the dog rescue centres, more than double that donated by leading lottery companies to charitable causes.

To find out more and play the lottery, visit www.doggylottery.co.uk  

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News Shorts
International Cat Care appoints new head of veterinary division

International Cat Care (ICC) has announced the appointment of Nathalie Dowgray as head of the charity's veterinary division.

Nathalie, who is an RCVS advanced practitioner in feline medicine, will lead the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and a play key role in advancing knowledge and research in feline medicine.

Claire Bessant, iCatCare's chief executive said: "We're absolutely delighted to be welcoming Nathalie to the charity. She brings a depth and breadth of feline expertise and understanding which fits perfectly with the charity's work and development, and her enthusiasm for cats is infectious."