Neo nicotinoid insecticides a suspect in bird deaths

NEO NICOTINOID insecticides are under the pump once again after levels of imidacloprid were found in dead birds in Natimuk.

Agriculture Victoria confirmed lab results had found traces of imidacloprid, commonly found in seed treatments such as the popular Gaucho, and the fungicide triadimenol, best known under the brand name Baytan in the dead parrots, found at Natimuk .

A landholder sought testing on the birds after a spate of deaths for no apparent reason.

At this stage Agriculture Victoria said it was unable to confirm either of the chemicals had been the major cause of death in the corellas and galahs.

Neo-nicotinoids have attracted significant controversy in recent years over their safety and have been banned in Europe due to links between the use of the chemicals and declining bee populations.

Some apiarists in Australia have also called for a ban on the products.

There is no proven scientific research than indicates the products cause bird deaths, but there are scientists investing links and many reports of bird deaths attributed to the use of the insecticides.