Sunday, 9 March 2014
The Daily Express is getting excited about the possibility that the EU may elect to 'invade' our gardens to dig up plants (http://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/463829/Garden-meddling-EU-must-finally-be-cut-down-to-size). I must admit to being intensely relaxed about this measure as gardeners sometimes introduce exotic plants into their gardens because they find them attractive and/or they are unusual. Japanese knotweed, Himalayan balsam and a variety of highly invasive pondweeds were introduced to the UK on this basis. Some plants are also very poisonous in ways that could endanger children and animals. You already would be in trouble if people found you cultivating Indian hemp for marihuana production on 'your' plot! I don't think that it unreasonable that there are to be mechanisms for removing potentially dangerous/illegal plants when they are identified. I don't think that the intention is to monitor precisely what goes on in people's back gardens. Gardeners have already been responsible for most of the UK flora being taken over by exotics.
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Friday, 7 March 2014
Somewhat disturbing news that Diclofenac, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent that has been used to treat arthritis in humans, has been approved for veterinary use by the EU (http://www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/vultures/diclofenac.aspx). This compound has been linked to kidney failure in vultures (especially in India). These birds are important recyclers of dead animals and injest the drug whilst feeding on carcasses. Birds like the Red kite could be endangered by the use of this compound in the UK. Strange that it has been approved just as doubts have been raised about its side-effects in humans!