Search Results for: pesticides

Suffolk | Police investigate illegal poisoning of a buzzard

A report emerged yesterday of a joint agency investigation by Suffolk Police, Natural England, and the RSPB Investigations Team into yet another killing of a Buzzard. There are few details at the moment (with no mention on the Suffolk Constabulary website), but a tweet from Suffolk Rural & Wildlife Policing said that several guns had been seized along with the ‘professional’s’ weapon of choice against birds of prey – pesticides (a few grains of Carbofuran sprinkled on to a rabbit corpse makes for an illegal but cheap and highly toxic bait). Suffolk, a county stuffed with shooting estates, has form when it comes to killing Buzzards. In February 2018 two buzzard corpses were reported to Suffolk Constabulary in an incident described by naturalists as “appalling and abhorrent.” The bodies were found in woodland known as Little Carr, “on the edge of a shooting estate” on the banks of the River Dove, near Hoxne.

Continue reading

Poisoned kite first to fledge in Strathspey since 1880

Police Scotland has confirmed that a Red Kite found dead in the Ruthven area near Moy, Tomatinin in October, had been poisoned with a banned pesticide. So another day, another raptor poisoned with a banned pesticide. Which pesticide isn’t identified but it will be one of the eight listed on the Possession of Pesticides (Scotland) Order 2005, many of which are well-known to be favoured by certain employees of the shooting ‘community’ for their toxicity: Aldicarb, Alphachloralose, Aluminium phosphide, Bendiocarb, Carbofuran, Mevinphos, Sodium cyanide and Strychnine. Several of these chemicals are the base ingredients of the infamous ‘Nidderdale Cocktail’ which poisoned two spaniels in North Yorkshire in April this year. Inevitably this poisoning has led to a discussion about the licencing of grouse moors. Would a poisoning incident like this have taken place if an estate’s licence to sell Red Grouse to shooters was potentially be at risk? It’s difficult to realistically see what difference licencing would make in cases like this…

Continue reading

EPA Finds Glyphosate Is Likely to Injure or Kill 93% of Endangered Species

First registered for use in the U.S. in 1974, Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States and one of the world’s most widely-used plant killers (Monsanto’s Roundup which uses glyphosate is found in garden sheds around the world). It’s used on about 298 million acres (121 million ha) of agricultural cropland every year in the US. Brazil, which under Jair Bolsanaro has seen an explosion in pesticide use and subsequent mass die-offs of bees, has approved 87 products containing glyphosate since September 2016, including eight in 2020 alone. Now the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), whose mission is to protect human health and the environment. has reported that glyphosate is “likely to injure or kill 93% of the plants and animals protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)”. The ESA is one of the most popular and effective environmental laws ever enacted in the US. Designed to prevent extinctions, in the four decades since the Act became law, 99% of species protected under it have survived.

Continue reading

Language Matters | Guest Post: Liv Cooper

“Our society has a deep-rooted, seldom recognised, and unfounded intolerance of wildlife being what it says on the tin – wild. This intolerance is an unobtrusive destroyer of biodiversity, with a secret weapon that allows it to take hold in our minds from a young age, which is, of course, language. We’re raised on words such as’ weed’,’ pest’ and ‘vermin’, all of which have strong connotations with dirty, unwanted plants and animals that are uncontrolled and offensive. These labels wield enormous power, being able to justify actions of the destruction of a species under a simple and dangerous concept, that “they’re not supposed to be here”. Even for nature-lovers and conservationists, it’s easy to be blinded by these labels, with a lower value put on certain species from the moment you learn of them, branded with worthlessness and blame. ” Guest post by Liv Cooper

Continue reading

Language Matters | Birders and ‘gamebirds’

Anyone who launches a campaign (any campaign) can be fairly certain that a) not everyone will agree with the campaign’s aims, and b) will tell you that ‘insert whatever it is you’re campaigning about’ is a waste of time. Sure, not everyone cares about (in this case) our wildlife, preferring to shoot it or ignore it rather than protect it. They’re almost bound not to agree. But ‘a waste of time’? Trying to change something you fundamentally disagree with is never a waste of time. Besides, it gives me a chance to explain in 1000+ words exactly why I think that raising a debate about the use of ‘gamebird’ is not a waste of time at all. I will say it again, in this birder’s opinion the term ‘gamebird’ has absolutely no place in birding, or in birding magazines, or in identification books. We’ll need to campaign more directly to get it confined to the waiting dustbin of history, but in the meantime fellow birders, fellow writers, and fellow activists let’s just please pledge not to use it anymore.

Continue reading

Metaldehyde to be banned to protect wildlife

In a rather rare bit of good news for wildlife, the government has announced its intention to ban the use of metaldehyde outdoors. Metaldehyde is the active ingredient in slug pellets, and is commonly used as a pesticide against slugs, snails, and other gastropods. As well as wiping out slugs and snails, metaldehyde is also toxic to terrestrial mammals and birds, and acute poisoning is common in pets, birds, domestic, and wild animals including hedgehogs. Hedgehog numbers in the UK have fallen by about 50% since the turn of the century, and while research suggests that the amount of metaldehyde a hedgehog would need to consume to be lethal would be very large, there have been cases of dead hedgehogs with very high levels of metaldehyde in their system (presumably consumed via prey items).

Continue reading