EPA welcomes results of research into health impacts of dung beetles

The Environmental Protection Authority has welcomed research from the Ministry of Health and Landcare Research that supports the release of dung beetles in New Zealand.

The EPA approved the release of 11 new species of dung beetles in 2010, after an application from the Dung Beetle Release Strategy Group.

Following the decision, some people voiced concerns about the introduction of dung beetles.

In response, the Dung Beetle Release Strategy Group has investigated the concerns raised and the Ministry of Health commissioned a report to evaluate if the beetles could pose a risk to human health.

The findings confirm the original decision to allow the release of dung beetles was sound.

The EPA’s New Organisms Applications Manager, Asela Atapattu, said he was pleased to see the results of the research.

“The application to release dung beetles went through a comprehensive evaluation process, which included seeking submissions from the public and a hearing.

“It was considered by a panel of experts, who made a decision based on extensive scientific evidence and research.

“This resulted in a robust decision, and the EPA stands by it.”

The Dung Beetle Release Strategy Group is made the first release of the dung beetles yesterday in conjunction with Environment Southland.

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