Friday, 23 February 2007

Badgers and bTB

The BES's Journal of Animal Ecology has published a paper that has important implications for the role of badger culling as part of the strategy to control bovine TB in the UK. According to the authors the evidence suggests that movement of individual badgers between groups may be instrumental in driving disease dynamics at the population level, and adds further support to the contention that the social disruption of badger populations, for example by culling, is likely to promote disease spread. Defra recently consulted on whether badgers should be culled to control the spread of bovine TB. A final decision has not yet been announced.

Fisheries 2027

Defra wants to know what priorities should drive fisheries policy until 2027. Defra's draft vision is to maximise the long-term economic benefits of commercial and recreation fisheries, within environmental and social constraints. It highlights a number of possible trade-offs between economic, social and environmental considerations. For example, should fishing effort be curtailed to ensure that some fish stocks don't collapse? Scientists are expected to provide the best possible science, involve stakeholders in data collection and communicate their findings to stakeholders. The BES will be responding to this consultation by 26 April 2007.