Fall of communism gives moths new freedom
James Cusick is political correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. As an experienced member of the lobby, he has previously worked at The Sunday Times and the BBC. His career as a journalist has been split between print and television, including senior positions as producer with Sir David Frost and at BBC Newsnight. He is also an award-winning golf and travel writer, working for over a decade as the UK contributing editor for one of the USA’s leading golf magazines. He broadcasts regularly for the BBC and CNN. He lives in London.
Tuesday 14 July 1992
MAMESTRA Brassicae, codename Kirin-KSC, is one of the latest casualties of Russian administrative re-organisation to hit the West. The product is a virus of the Cabbage Moth and it is used to treat moth infestation.
Kirin-KSC was used in May this year by the Forestry Commission to treat a plague of Pine Beauty Moths in 270 acres of forest on Lewis, in the Outer Hebrides. The moths' caterpillars defoliate trees and the introduction of foreign species of pine has helped destroy the habitat of the moth's natural enemies, beetles, birds and small insects. The outbreak on Lewis was among Lodgepole Pine, an American import.
The estate has nearby sites of special scientific interest and salmon fisheries, which ruled out the use of chemical pesticides.
Dr Jenny Cory, a virologist at the Government's Institute of Virology and Environmental Micro-biology, in Oxford, said the Russians are the world's cheapest producers of the Kirin-KSC virus, which comes from factory farm methods of rearing insects.
However, the traditional routes of ordering it have been disrupted in the chaos now affecting the former Soviet Union states. The Forestry Commission says it needed three times as much to fully treat the Lewis problem.
Although damage has already been done, the commission's scientists are now waiting to see how successful the virus that they were able to use has been .
Kirin is a nuclear polyhedrosis virus (NPV), which attacks the cells of larvae. Chris Innes, of the Forestry Commission's Inverness office, said: 'We will be carrying out pupal counts (cocoons) of the larvae in September and October. Then we will able to judge how successful the virus has been.'
However, the problem remains that future use of Kirin-KSC is in doubt until supply routes reopen.
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Oil slicks in South China Sea ‘not from missing jet’, officials say
Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
Oscar Pistorius trial: Athlete throws up as court hears 'graphic details' of Reeva Steenkamp's autopsy
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
Poor 'live like animals' says Boris's privately educated sister after going on 'poverty safari'
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Vince Cable: Teachers 'know absolutely nothing' about the world of work
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote in North Korean elections
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a leading digital agency bu...
£40000 - £45000 per annum: Charter Selection: Global leader in its respective ...
£130 - £161 per day: Randstad Education Nottingham: Do you have a qualificatio...
£6720 - £33600 per annum: Randstad Education Nottingham: The school is much la...