Wildlife

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on wildlife. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
27.10.2016Grouse shooting
Grouse shooting takes place on moorlands managed for the birds. The Government believes that grouse shooting makes a significant economic, social and environmental contribution. However, others are concerned that grouse moor management is leading to environmental damage and the illegal killing of birds of prey. Two public petitions have been launched on this matter, on both sides of the argument. The Petitions Committee took evidence from witnesses on 18 October 2016, and a debate is scheduled for 31 October 2016.
31.08.2016Badgers: Culls in England
The UK Government is committed to eradicating bovine TB and takes the view that badger culling in areas with high incidence of TB in cattle in England is an effective part of this strategy. Controlled shooting of badgers was trialed in Gloucestershire and Somerset in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, a badger cull continued in these two areas and was extended to a third area in Dorset. The Government has announced that badger control will take place over a wider number of areas in England in 2016. However, badger culling as a means of controlling TB in cattle remains a contentious policy.
17.07.2015Marine Conservation Zones in England
Marine Conservation Zones are being introduced to protect nationally important marine environments. 127 sites were put forward by regional stakeholder groups, and the Government designated 27 sites in 2013. The Government consulted on a second tranche of MCZs early in 2015. It is expected that the Government will announce a third tranche of candidate MCZ sites in 2016.
13.07.2015Amending The Hunting Act 2004
Hunting with dogs was banned in England in 2004 under The Hunting Act. In July 2015 the Government announced that it intended to amend the legislation to amend the legislation.
13.05.2015Bovine Tuberculosis Statistics: Great Britain
In 2014 there were 4,700 new herd incidents of bovine tuberculosis (TB) in Great Britain, and 4.2% of tests on TB-free herds led to TB-free status being withdrawn. This note presents statistics measuring the incidence of bovine TB in Great Britain.
23.01.2015Infrastructure Bill: Invasive species
The Infrasctructure Bill 2014-15 contains new measures to control invasive non-native species. This paper provides an overview of debate on these parts of the Bill for the Commons' Report Stage.
18.12.2014Septic tanks: new regulations
This note explains the legislation relating to septic tanks in England.
01.12.2014The Forestry Commission and the sale of public forests in England
This note sets out information on the sale of public forests managed by the Forestry Commission
11.06.2014Badger Culling : Alternatives
TB vaccination of badgers and cattle: Policy in England and Wales and progress in developing useable vaccines
11.03.2014Badger Cullling: TB Control Policy
TB badger control policy in England and Wales.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 4: Economic Affairs, Energy, Environment, Local Government and Transport
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
29.09.2016Rewilding and Ecosystem Services
This POSTnote explores the consequences of increasing the role of natural processes within landscapes. Evidence from the UK and abroad suggests that rewilding can benefit both wildlife and local people, but animal reintroductions could adversely affect some land-users.
26.03.2015Biodiversity Auditing
Biodiversity supports the ecosystem services humans rely on for well-being and economic resources. Areas that have had an audit can make more effective use of ecological data to meet planning and conservation objectives for biodiversity. This POSTnote summarises the data sources used and the advantages of the audit approach for addressing biodiversity loss.
11.12.2014Catchment-Wide Flood Management
Changing weather patterns have made structural defences less effective at managing flooding. An approach that employs a range of natural flood management measures across a river catchment is likely to reduce the probability of flooding and pressure on structural defences. This POSTnote describes the measures and the challenges of implementing them over large catchments.
12.08.2014Environmental Citizen Science
Environmental citizen science traditionally involves members of the public submitting sightings of wildlife to NGOs or records centres, but emerging technologies have recently broadened its use to all kinds of environmental data. This POSTnote summarises different types of citizen science projects, policy-relevant applications and the benefits and challenges of volunteer collected data.
18.06.2014Ancient Woodland
Ancient woodlands are irreplaceable features of our landscapes that can be high in biodiversity or cultural value. This POSTnote summarises the challenges of conserving the biodiversity and cultural heritage of these sites to provide social and economic benefits, while still meeting the development needs of society.
12.04.2013Livestock Vaccines
This POSTnote examines the use of vaccines and outlines the pros and cons of using vaccination in livestock.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
19.01.2010Regulatory Reform Committee.
Regulatory Reform Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
29.11.2011WILD ANIMALS IN TRAVELLING CIRCUSES
That this House believes that the use of wild animals in travelling circuses is fundamentally wrong because their welfare and well-being is continuously compromised by confinement in ...
24.05.2011WILD ANIMALS IN CIRCUSES (No.2)
That this House regrets the failure of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to ban the use of wild animals in circuses; further regrets the Secretary of State's statement ...
16.02.2011TRADE OF ILLEGAL IVORY
That this House is concerned that despite the world wide ban on the sale of ivory, there is recent evidence of an increase in demand for illegal ivory; recognises the commendable progress ...
09.12.2010DIPLOMATIC ACTION AND COMMERCIAL WHALING
That this House condemns the departure of the Japanese whaling fleet for Antarctica; notes with dismay that Japan will seek to kill almost a thousand whales in the Southern Ocean Whale ...
15.09.2010HENDERSON ISLAND, PITCAIRN ISLANDS
That this House notes with concern the threat which rats pose to the unique wildlife of Henderson Island, Pitcairn Islands, in particular to the Henderson Petrel, but also the Henderson ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses