Wednesday, 26 August 2015


The Wildlife Trusts Position Statement Neonicotinoid Insecticides 

The Wildlife Trusts are calling for an outright ban on the use of all neonicotinoid insecticides.

There is a growing body of evidence to show that neonicotinoids have a detrimental effect at sublethal doses on insect pollinators; pose a serious risk of harm to a wide range of beneficial invertebrate species in soil, vegetation, aquatic and marine habitats; and pose a severe risk to the wider environment and delivery of essential ecosystem services. For these reasons, The Wildlife Trusts believe that the continued use of neonicotinoids in the UK represents an unacceptable risk to insect pollinator populations and ecosystem health.

We urge the Government to retract its opposition to the EU ban, recognise the scale of the risks posed by the continued use of neonicotinoids and place a permanent moratorium on the use of all neonicotinoid insecticides.

Key points

  • Neonicotinoids, which are used as an insecticide on crops such as oil-seed rape, are harmful to a wide range of invertebrates, including pollinators such as honey bees and bumblebees.
  • Pollination is a vital ecosystem service that maintains biodiversity and sustains agricultural crop yields. It is estimated that a collapse in pollinators would cost the UK economy c. £1.8 billion per year.
  • We could see a collapse in ecosystems across the agricultural landscape and beyond if pollinators become scarce.
  • The risk of environmental contamination is high and the impacts of neonicotinoid pollution have already been documented in the Netherlands, where high levels of imidacloprid pollution have been linked to declines in insectivorous farmland birds. 
Download the full Position Statement

Wildlife Trusts website report

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