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The last of Africa's big tusker elephants – in pictures

Like living relics from a bygone era, the last of Africa’s big tusker elephants roam in a vast, remote wilderness in Kenya. In partnership with the Tsavo Trust NGO and the Kenya Wildlife Service, Will Burrard-Lucas spent months photographing these rare animals. His series of intimate portraits are captured in his book, Land of Giants

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Dutch government to investigate food safety body after 'sick cow' cases

Allegations that animals not fit for consumption are entering food chain raise doubts over Netherlands’ inspection regime

An investigation into the Dutch food safety authority has been ordered by the minister of agriculture, Carola Schouten, following repeated allegations that sick cows are being slaughtered in the north of the Netherlands.

A number of cases have been brought against cattle traders and slaughterhouses for transporting and offering sick cattle for slaughter in recent years, with several consequent convictions. Now the government is to review the Dutch food safety authority (Nederlandse Voedsel en Waren Autoriteit, NVWA). The NVWA is responsible for monitoring the slaughterhouses, but questions have been raised about its effectiveness since it was established in 2012.

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Pesticide residues found in 70% of produce sold in US even after washing
  • Strawberries, spinach and kale among most pesticide-heavy
  • Conventionally farmed kale could contain up to 18 pesticides

About 70% of fresh produce sold in the US has pesticide residues on it even after it is washed, according to a health advocacy group.

According to the Environmental Working Group’s annual analysis of US Department of Agriculture data, strawberries, spinach and kale are among the most pesticide-heavy produce, while avocados, sweetcorn and pineapples had the lowest level of residues.

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Stags in the city: how deer found their way into our town centres and back gardens

As the UK’s deer population explodes, more of the animals are heading into urban areas. Why – and will they be welcome there?

If you head out to the shops today, or a churchyard, or a school, or a playground, and you live in a town or city, you might be in for a surprise. Cats, dogs, squirrels, even foxes are part and parcel of our urban landscapes now but increasingly, it’s not out of the question that you might just as easily meet a deer.

The deer population in the UK is at the highest it has been for at least 1,000 years, at around two million. Over the past few decades, does and stags have been spotted in urban areas and villages around the UK, from Glasgow, to Sheffield and London. This week, the Royal Horticultural Society released guidance on how gardeners can deer-proof their outdoor spaces. Replace tulips with daffodils and red hot pokers, it suggests, because deer don’t like the taste and it will stop them rummaging through your flowerbeds.

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Deep coal mine gets go ahead in Cumbria despite protests

Environmental campaigners say backing for Woodhouse colliery cannot be justified

Britain’s first new deep coal mine in 30 years has been given the go-ahead by Cumbria county council, sparking protests from climate change campaigners that the decision would harm the UK’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions.

The £165m Woodhouse colliery was backed by Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors, who said it would bring vital jobs to the area. Copeland’s Conservative MP Trudy Harrison has “wholeheartedly” endorsed the proposed undersea mine, saying the investment it would bring to the area was crucial.

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