Lions, cheetahs, rhinos and zebras were among 33 wild species which became farm animals as of May this year when the South African Government approved a brief amendment to the Animal Improvement Act (AIA) which governs livestock breeding.12 There has been virtually no mention of this in the media, as the legislation was slipped through […]
POLL: Should the salmon-farming industry be allowed to slaughter seals?
Seals are supposed to be protected under UK law, but salmon farmers can get a special licence that makes it legal for them to shoot and kill these marine animals, who are just trying to feed themselves and their families in order to survive. The shooting continues throughout the animals’ breeding season, which takes place […]
POLL: Should badgers be culled to control the spread of tuberculosis in cattle?
The beam from Lynn Sawyer’s head torch scans the dark trees on a Gloucestershire hillside before settling on a barely visible cage hidden in a thicket of brambles. “They’ve been trapping and shooting badgers here for six years and they are still doing it,” she says, trudging over a carpet of rotting leaves towards the […]
POLL: Would you eat insects to save the planet from global warming?
The thought of rising sea levels and more intense heatwaves are enough to keep you up at night. But while we all know the situation is getting more serious, most of us are preoccupied with work, doctor’s appointments and paying bills – and these immediate, visceral worries win every time. There isn’t much time left […]
POLL: Could feeding cows seaweed help fight climate change?
In the climate change fight, scientists are always exploring new ways to tackle our emissions problems. One recent suggestion is to, well, make cows fart and belch less — something that could be music to the ears of Irish farmers. Researchers from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, released a study in 2016, which appeared […]
Bumblebees take off with a special fungus weapon to save strawberries
Squadrons of bumblebees are being deployed in a novel attempt to prevent grey mould turning the summer’s strawberries into fluffy mush. The bees are routed via a one-way system in their hive through a tray of harmless fungus spores which, when delivered to flowers, ensure that the grey mould cannot take hold as the fruit […]
Culls risk illegally exterminating badgers, animal expert warns
England’s highly controversial badger culls risk illegally wiping out every badger in the cull zones because the animals’ numbers are so poorly known, according to one of the UK’s leading badger experts. The culls, intended to curb tuberculosis in cattle, are authorised to begin on 1 June but could prove unworkable because of the uncertainty […]
Fipronil named as fourth insecticide to pose risk to honeybees
A widely used insect nerve agent has been labelled a “high acute risk” to honeybees by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). A similar assessment by the EFSA on three other insecticides preceded the suspension of their use in the European Union. “The insecticide fipronil poses a high acute risk to honeybees when used as […]