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Species reintroduction not a priority, Government says
Pine martens are one of the species that have been reintroduced to parts of the UK.

Defra rejects proposed measures to support and manage reintroductions.

Reintroducing wildlife species such as beavers and eagles to areas where they have become extinct is not a priority, the Government has said.

In a letter published on Friday, 27 October, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (Defra) stated that although it has supported the reintroduction of native species, it won’t be introducing any new measures to help support and manage reintroductions.

Instead, the Government said that it is focused on reaching biodiversity targets through other methods, including improving and creating habitats and tackling pollution and climate change.

The letter was written in reply to a report published by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA). The report called on the Government to do more to support species reintroduction and mitigate any potential adverse effects.

The committee wanted to see the Government produce a list of priority species for reintroduction, assess the risks of reintroducing different species, and improve stakeholder engagement. Defra rejected these proposals, saying that existing measures were enough.

Reintroducing species that are locally extinct has become a major conservation strategy. Species such as pine martens and red kites have been translocated to areas of the UK where they had disappeared, and beavers have been reintroduced to selected areas, centuries after they were last seen in the UK.

However reintroductions have been controversial, with concerns raised by some local farmers and land managers about the impact on farmland.

Sir Robert Goodwill, chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said: “The Government has said that species reintroductions are not a priority and so it will not produce a strategy for managing them. This is despite the fact that reintroductions are currently taking place in the UK and raising concerns in farming and rural communities, particularly in relation to increased flooding risks arising from beaver reintroductions.

“The Government have in the past played a role in supporting the reintroduction of lost native species, including the red kite and pool frog. However, given the important potential benefits of species reintroduction and considering the Government’s own targets on biodiversity, it is concerning that they do not have a plan on species reintroduction and disappointing that they have not responded positively to our report and taken more steps to manage the reintroductions taking place as we speak.”

The Government has defended its stance. A Defra spokesperson said: “We have consistently supported the reintroduction of recently lost former native species when it has been appropriate to do so. Species such as the large blue butterfly, red kite and pool frog have already been reintroduced.

“To achieve our ambitious targets for biodiversity we are focused on habitat restoration, creation and improved connectivity; tackling pressures on species including pollution, unsustainable use of resources and climate change; and targeted action to recover specific species.”


Image (C) Shutterstock

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.