Rain

Rain

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 14°C

ESTD 1874 Search

UK/EU: Farmers’ leader Guy Smith questions scientists’ report linking bird decline to neonicotinoid

10:33 11 July 2014

NFU vice president Guy Smith

NFU vice president Guy Smith

Archant

Farmers’ leaders have questioned research published this week which suggests an insecticide is a key factor in a recent decline in farmland birds.

shares

Scientists have written a report, published in science journal Nature, which looked at the effects of the most widely used neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid, on bird populations in the Netherlands,

The study, led by Hands de Kroon of Radboud University in the Netherlands, found greater declines of bird populations in areas with higher surface water concentrations of imidacloprid.

A two-year European Union suspension on certain neonicotinoids began at the end of 2013 over fears over their effects on bees and other pollinating insects.

National Farmers’ Union (NFU) vice president Guy Smith, who farms at St Osyth, near Clacton, described the link found between the surface water concentrations of imidacloprid and declines in certain bird species in the Netherlands as “interesting”, but argued that it did not demonstrate that pesticide use causes bird decline.

“Changes in habit, climate and cropping patterns could all contribute to shifts in bird population,” he said.

“The study itself acknowledges that: “Food resource depletion may not be the only or even the most important cause of decline,” but it fails to investigate or even mention any other factors.

“The researchers assert that consumption of contaminated insects could have a direct impact on birds, but they provide absolutely no evidence to support this highly suggestive statement, which has caused a lot of sensationalism in the media today around ‘pesticides killing birds’.

“In the UK, the use of pesticides is tightly regulated and monitored. The study states that the use of imidacloprid in the Netherlands regularly results in the permitted environmental concentrations being exceeded – if such problems are detected in the UK, measures are rapidly implemented to avoid potential negative impacts on the environment.

“The NFU fully supports Prof. Charles Godfray’s response to the article where he states that there’s an enormous importance in setting up large, replicated field experiments in real agricultural landscapes to get much harder data on the effects of this class of insecticide on all elements of biodiversity.”

The researchers who wrote the study said: “Our results suggest that the impact of neonicotinoids on the natural environment is even more substantial than has recently been reported and is reminiscent of the effects of persistent insecticides in the past. Future legislation should take into account the potential cascading effects of neonicotinoids on ecosystems.”

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Mills Meadow Care Home on Fore Street in Framlingham.

The running of Suffolk’s residential care homes comes under fire again as a fourth Care UK centre received a “requires improvement” rating from the Care Quality Commission.

Is a big cat roaming the Suffolk countryside?

Police in Suffolk have been contacted six times in the last 12 months with reports of big cats roaming the county.

Pupils at Stoke High School join Suffolk Police for Yorkshire three peaks challenge

The aim of the challenge was to develop pupils’ teamwork and orienteering skills and for them to experience the landscapes of Yorkshire, which many of them had not seen before.

Milk on a supermarket shelf. Photo: Antony Kelly

Groups of dairy farmers have been emptying milk from supermarket shelves across the country in protest at the price paid for milk.

Police attend the scene of a major incident near the train station in Bury st Edmunds on Tuesday 4th August.

Police have arrested three people following a shooting that took place in Bury St Edmunds yesterday evening.

Crews attended the fire

Firefighters were called to a fire at a workshop in Gosfield, near Halstead.

The Regal Theatre.

A Suffolk town’s theatre has announced record admission figures for the first four months of the financial year.

The Desert Rats, more formally known as 7 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters East, will march onto the parade square on Thursday, 30th July to formally recognise reaching Full Operating Capability.

Over 130 soldiers representing the Brigades six units will be on parade in front of an audience of invited guests and dignitaries. The parade will include a Drum Head Service that will be led by the Reverend Philip Bosher, the Brigade Senior Chaplain.  

He will be joined by the Chaplains of the Regiments and Civilian Chaplains to the Military representing four of the worlds faiths. These include: Hindu Chaplain Acharya Krishan Kant Attri, Jewish Chaplain Rabbi Reuven Livingstone, Muslim Chaplain Imman Ali Omar and Sikh Chaplain Mandeep Kaur.

The parade will see an altar created from drums to replicate services held on the front line during World War One. The Brigade Commander will inspect the parade following the service. Music will be provided by the Band of the Royal Armoured Corps.


More/&
The Brigade was f

The ceremonial event marked the 7 Infantry Brigade and Headquarters East, nicknamed the Desert Rats, reaching its full operating capability.

Dhilip Ravichandran in hospital following the collision.

A west Suffolk business is leading a campaign to raise thousands of pounds for urgent medical care for a colleague on the other side of the world whose life is in the balance following a hit and run collision.

Residents in Holland-on-Sea form a working part for flood defences

A ditch and culvert was cleared in a mission to save homes after a number of residents in Keswick Avenue were forced to move out in June when heavy rainfall left them wading around in inches of water.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages