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No change to pesticide regulations
bee pesticide neonicotinoid
Neonicotinoid law remains unchanged, despite link to bee decline

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have announced there will currently be no changes to UK pesticide regulations, following a review into the effects of neonicotinoids.

The pesticide neonicotinoid has been linked to a fall in the UK bee population, with scientists claiming that it causes worker bees to stop providing food and eggs for larvae, bumblebees to restrict food supply to the hive, and honey bees to experience a breakdown in their navigational abilities.

In response, several studies from earlier this year were assessed by the Chemicals Regulation Directorate of HSE, an independent expert advisory committee on pesticides, bee experts in DEFRA's Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) and DEFRA's Science Advisory Council.

Though the report said the studies were "interesting", it was not believed that permitted neonicotinoid levels would have a serious effect on bee populations.

Friends of the Earth nature campaigner, Paul de Zylva, said: "The govenment's failure to act on neonicotinoid pesticides is astonishing - there is still a massive question mark over the impact of these chemicals in declining bee populations."

DEFRA have commented that they are carrying out additional research, however they believe the studies were either not carried out under field conditions, or neonicotinoid was used at a higher dose to that which is currently permitted.

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Elephant sanctuary to build cat and dog clinic

An elephant sanctuary in Thailand has started building work on a new cat and dog veterinary clinic.

Large numbers of cats and dogs are regularly taken to the Boon Lott's Elephant Sanctuary (BLES) in Sukhothai for treatment. The charity proposed to build a clinic to provide life-saving veterinary care, as well as assist with general first aid and routine medical care for elephants in the area.

The project was chosen as the first ever winner of the WVS Animal Champions Award, a drive to support charities tackling a welfare project of their choice.

Funding awarded to the project will cover the cost of building the new clinic. A WVS veterinary team will also travel to Thailand and help with the first spay/neuter project for cats and dogs. The BLES Cats and Dogs Home Clinic is due to be unveiled on World Veterinary Day on April 26.