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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 17:34 EDT

Extra Safeguards Will Protect Ratty and Co for Generations

August 19, 2008

HELP is at hand for Ratty. The misnamed water vole from the children’s classic Wind in the Willows is one of five new species that has been given extra protection in Wales.

Under new regulations introduced by the Welsh Assembly Government it is now an offence to kill, injure or remove from the wild the water vole, angel shark, spiny seahorse, roman snail and short- snouted seahorse.

It is also an offence to possess or sell the water vole, short- snouted sea horse, spiny seahorse and roman snail or to damage or obstruct the short-snouted and spiny sea horses’ place of shelteror disturb them in their place of shelter.

They join the list of wildlife species such as the otter and grass snake that already enjoy protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Environment and Sustainability Minister Jane Davidson said it was in everyone’s interests to protect the valuable wildlife of Wales.

“A lot of work has been done to ensure that the list of species being protected is comprehensive and the additional protection we are providing for these creatures will ensure a more secure future for their species,” she said.

“Healthy and robust biodiversity is a major weapon in fighting the ravages of climate change so it is vital that we act to protect our natural wildlife from extinction.

“We want to enhance the lives of the people of Wales by enabling them to appreciate how wildlife can be found even-and perhaps more importantly- in urban areas. It will influence the attitude that adults and, very importantly, children will adopt towards the natural world both now and in the future.”

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