We hear so much about bees being lost to the world but what about the humble dung beetle! This beetle was sacred to the Ancient Egyptians for the ball it creates looking like the sun itself, The beetle was found in Hieroglyphs [Egyptian alphabet ] and a famous large carved beetle is still found at Karnac Temple. The beetle is a big friend of us humans because by burying the dung it takes away the chance of diseases. In the 1980s it was so common that by every dog poo you would often find this beetle doing the right thing burying the poo instead of placing it in a plastic bag and hanging it in the nearest tree! What has happened in that time is that the farming industry and dog owners have been 'conned' into using chemicals to clean their stock of parasites. This chemical comes out of the cow, sheep, pig and dog and kills most insects that feed on the dung, so bye bye beetle!
At one time alone the dung beetle which as a world family was worth to the USA cattle industry an estimated $380 million annually through burying above-ground livestock feces and saving the stock from diseases from the flies that also tried to feed on this dung! Diseases like mestisis is the most common infectious disease of dairy cattle and costs the UK dairy industry around £170 M per year. How much would the Dung Beetle have saved them now it has become almost extinct not only on farms but in the wider countryside! So much was the beetle praised for removing dog poo that a London council once introduced them to the streets of London hoping the beetles would take away their smelly problem! Sadly the digging tools of the beetle were not equipped to dig through concrete or tarmac!!
Maybe we are on a road like the beetle with new evidence suggesting that poorly cooked meat is now having an effect on our health due to the same chemicals that killed the beetle. How long will it be before we become an organic country like Denmark is aiming to be? Denmark was the first country to ban lead in shot making all its game clean of this poison, which knew to ban it from cars fuel and homes years ago. Why is Britain so slow? Is it that politicians are so wrapped up in 'back hands' from the big multi national companies selling the stuff! Could we not rise to the beetle like the Ancient Egyptians and see it has a symbol of clean living using nature to make our lives much better. This dear beetle is needed in the food chain with so many wild species feeding on it, like the Kestrel itself in free fall declining around the country, the Little Owl and of course the Red backed Shrike, extinct most years as a breeding bird!
We could free ourselves from those plastic bags hanging like decorated Xmas trees in the parks and dog poo lanes around our world. We could go organic and rid ourselves of these chemicals and give the next generations the chance of a healthy life. ' All you need is love ' was one of the 'Beatles' hits of the sixties but we could bring it back and record it taking out love and adding dung! Maybe it could make a Number 2 hit!! Start an e petition, I want to see this beetle again in numbers and I 'Winnie' stop until its dung!