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New proposals to protect Scotland’s seas
The four new MPAs would make Scotland the first country in the world to provide designated areas for protecting minke whales.
Consultation on four new marine protected areas

The Scottish Government is proposing four new marine protected areas (MPAs), which would make it the first country in the world to provide designated areas for the protection of minke whale and basking sharks.

A 12-week consultation on the proposed MPAs was launched on World Oceans Day (8 June).

Covering a combined area of more than 5,000 square miles, the MPAs would also protect Risso’s dolphins and a range of biodiversity and geographical features.

Scotland’s MPA network currently covers 22 per cent of the country’s seas and consists of 231 sites. It supports nature conservation, protects historic marine sites and helps develop new approaches to marine management.

Mairi Gougeon, Scotland’s minister for the natural environment, said: “It is our duty to help protect and enhance our marine environment so that it remains a prized asset for future generations. Not only are they fundamental to our way of life, they provide habitats for a huge diversity of marine wildlife and it is vital that we ensure appropriate protection for them.

“Scotland’s seas account for 61 per cent of the UK’s waters and are internationally recognised as being important for whales, dolphins and basking sharks. These MPAs would offer additional levels of protection to these species, and ensure the MPA network is fully representative of Scotland’s marine diversity.”

The government is asking people to share their views on the proposals by taking part in the consultation.

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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zooís reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSLís EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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News Shorts
Professor Abdul Rahman announced as keynote speaker for BVA Membersí Day 2019

Celebrated Indian vet and parasitologist Professor Abdul Rahman is set to deliver the keynote speech at BVA Membersí Day 2019.

Professor Rahman will present his insights into the human behaviour challenges of controlling zoonotic disease in his talk: ĎA One Health approach to rabies elimination in Asiaí. The talk will outline efforts to gain political support for dog vaccination programmes in China, as well as the need for a collaborative approach between vets, public health, livestock and animal welfare agencies.

The event takes place on Thursday, 19 September at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. Tickets are free but must be reserved through the BVA website as places are limited.