Food and Rural Affairs Defra

City of Westminster, United Kingdom

Food and Rural Affairs Defra

City of Westminster, United Kingdom
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Bate A.M.,University of York | Jones G.,UK Environment Agency | Kleczkowski A.,University of Stirling | MacLeod A.,Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA | And 4 more authors.
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2016

The ornamental plant trade has been identified as a key introduction pathway for plant pathogens. Establishing effective biosecurity measures to reduce the risk of plant pathogen outbreaks in the live plant trade is therefore important. Management of invasive pathogens has been identified as a weakest link public good, and thus is reliant on the actions of individual private agents. This paper therefore provides an analysis of the impact of the private agents' biosecurity decisions on pathogen prevention and control within the plant trade. We model the impact that an infectious disease has on a plant nursery under a constant pressure of potentially infected input plant materials, like seeds and saplings, where the spread of the disease reduces the value of mature plants. We explore six scenarios to understand the influence of three key bioeconomic parameters; the disease's basic reproductive number, the loss in value of a mature plant from acquiring an infection and the cost-effectiveness of restriction. The results characterise the disease dynamics within the nursery and explore the trade-offs and synergies between the optimal level of efforts on restriction strategies (actions to prevent buying infected inputs), and on removal of infected plants in the nursery. For diseases that can be easily controlled, restriction and removal are substitutable strategies. In contrast, for highly infectious diseases, restriction and removal are often found to be complementary, provided that restriction is cost-effective and the optimal level of removal is non-zero. © 2016 The Authors.


Berrill I.K.,University of Stirling | Cooper T.,Defra Innovation Center | MacIntyre C.M.,University of Stirling | Ellis T.,CEFAS - Center for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science | And 3 more authors.
Fish Physiology and Biochemistry | Year: 2012

The welfare of farmed fish has attracted attention in recent years, which has resulted in notable changes within the aquaculture industry. However, a lack of communication between stakeholders and opposing ethical views are perceived as barriers to achieving consensus on how to improve farmed fish welfare. To address these issues, we developed an interactive approach that could be used during stakeholder meetings to (1) improve communication between different stakeholder groups, (2) build consensus on priorities for farmed fish welfare and (3) establish mechanisms to address welfare priorities. We then applied this approach during a meeting of stakeholders to identify current and future priorities for farmed fish welfare in the UK. During the meeting in the UK, stakeholders initially identified 32 areas that they felt were in need of development for future improvements in farmed fish welfare. These were further refined via peer review and discussion to the seven most important "priority" areas. Establishing a "better understanding of what good fish welfare is" emerged as the highest priority area for farmed fish welfare. The second highest priority area was "the need for welfare monitoring and documentation systems", with mortality recording proposed as an example. The other five priority areas were "[improved understanding of] the role of genetic selection in producing fish suited to the farming environment", "a need for integration and application of behavioural and physiological measures", "the need for a more liberal regime in Europe for introducing new medicines", "a need to address the issues of training existing and new workers within the industry", and "ensuring best practise in aquaculture is followed by individual businesses". Feedback from attendees, and the meeting outputs, indicated that the approach had been successful in improving communication between stakeholders and in achieving consensus on the priorities for farmed fish welfare. The approach therefore proved highly beneficial for future improvements in fish welfare in the UK. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


PubMed | University of Brighton, Aire Inc, Cranfield University, British Geological Survey and 16 more.
Type: | Journal: Environment international | Year: 2016

There are a number of specific opportunities for UK and China to work together on contaminated land management issues as China lacks comprehensive and systematic planning for sustainable risk based land management, encompassing both contaminated soil and groundwater and recycling and reuse of soil. It also lacks comprehensive risk assessment systems, structures to support risk management decision making, processes for verification of remediation outcome, systems for record keeping and preservation and integration of contamination issues into land use planning, along with procedures for ensuring effective health and safety considerations during remediation projects, and effective evaluation of costs versus benefits and overall sustainability. A consequence of the absence of these overarching frameworks has been that remediation takes place on an ad hoc basis. At a specific site management level, China lacks capabilities in site investigation and consequent risk assessment systems, in particular related to conceptual modelling and risk evaluation. There is also a lack of shared experience of practical deployment of remediation technologies in China, analogous to the situation before the establishment of the independent, non-profit organisation CL:AIRE (Contaminated Land: Applications In Real Environments) in 1999 in the UK. Many local technology developments are at lab-scale or pilot-scale stage without being widely put into use. Therefore, a shared endeavour is needed to promote the development of technically and scientifically sound land management as well as soil and human health protection to improve the sustainability of the rapid urbanisation in China.


Smith A.C.,Environmental consultant | Holland M.,Imperial College London | Korkeala O.,Ricardo PLC | Warmington J.,Aea Environment And Energy | And 5 more authors.
Climate Policy | Year: 2015

Many actions to reduce GHG emissions have wider impacts on health, the economy, and the environment, beyond their role in mitigating climate change. These ancillary impacts can be positive (co-benefits) or negative (conflicts). This article presents the first quantitative review of the wider impacts on health and the environment likely to arise from action to meet the UK's legally-binding carbon budgets. Impacts were assessed for climate measures directed at power generation, energy use in buildings, and industry, transport, and agriculture. The study considered a wide range of health and environmental impacts including air pollution, noise, the upstream impacts of fuel extraction, and the lifestyle benefits of active travel. It was not possible to quantify all impacts, but for those that were monetized the co-benefits of climate action (i.e. excluding climate benefits) significantly outweigh the negative impacts, with a net present value of more than £85 billion from 2008 to 2030. Substantial benefits arise from reduced congestion, pollution, noise, and road accidents as a result of avoided journeys. There is also a large health benefit as a result of increased exercise from walking and cycling instead of driving. Awareness of these benefits could strengthen the case for more ambitious climate mitigation action.Policy relevanceThis article demonstrates that actions to mitigate GHG emissions have significant wider benefits for health and the environment. Including these impacts in cost–benefit analysis would strengthen the case for the UK (and similar countries) to set ambitious emissions reduction targets. Understanding co-benefits and trade-offs will also improve coordination across policy areas and cut costs. In addition, co-benefits such as air quality improvements are often immediate and local, whereas climate benefits may occur on a longer timescale and mainly in a distant region, as well as being harder to demonstrate. Dissemination of the benefits, along with better anticipation of trade-offs, could therefore boost public support for climate action. © 2014 Taylor & Francis


Lambton S.L.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Colloff A.D.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Smith R.P.,Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency | Caldow G.L.,Scottish Agricultural College Consulting | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP; previously known as idiopathic haemorrhagic diathesis and commonly known as bleeding calf syndrome) is a novel haemorrhagic disease of young calves which has emerged in a number of European countries during recent years. Data were retrospectively collected during June to November 2010 for 56 case calves diagnosed with BNP between 17 March and 7 June of the same year. These were compared with 58 control calves randomly recruited from herds with no history of BNP. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that increased odds of a calf being a BNP case were associated with its dam having received PregSure® BVD (Pfizer Animal Health) vaccination prior to the birth of the calf (odds ratio (OR) 40.78, p&0.001) and its herd of origin being located in Scotland (OR 9.71, p = 0.006). Decreased odds of a calf being a BNP case were associated with the calf having been kept outside (OR 0.11, p = 0.006). The longer that a cattle herd had been established on the farm was also associated with decreased odds of a calf in that herd being a BNP case (OR 0.97, p = 0.011). © 2012 Crown Copyright. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the free Open Government Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/open-government-licence.htm.


O'Callaghan K.,Food and Rural Affairs Defra
Food Chemistry | Year: 2016

A brief review has been done of technologies involved in the exploitation of biogenic wastes, in order to provide an introduction to the subject from the technological perspective. Biogenic waste materials and biomass have historically been utilised for thousands of years, but a new conversation is emerging on the role of these materials in modern bioeconomies. Due to the nature of the products and commodities now required, a modern bioeconomy is not simply a rerun of former ones. This new dialogue needs to help us understand how technologies for managing and processing biogenic wastes - both established and novel - should be deployed and integrated (or not) to meet the requirements of the sustainability, closed-loop and resource-security agendas that evidently sit behind the bioeconomy aspirations now being voiced in many countries and regions of the world. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Kibblewhite M.G.,Cranfield University | Bellamy P.H.,Cranfield University | Brewer T.A.,Cranfield University | Graves A.R.,Cranfield University | And 4 more authors.
Science of the Total Environment | Year: 2014

Methods for the spatial estimation of risk of harm to soil by erosion by water and wind and by soil organic matter decline are explored. Rates of harm are estimated for combinations of soil type and land cover (as a proxy for hazard frequency) and used to estimate risk of soil erosion and loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) for 1km2pixels. Scenarios are proposed for defining the acceptability of risk of harm to soil: the most precautionary one corresponds to no net harm after natural regeneration of soil (i.e. a 1 in 20 chance of exceeding an erosion rate of <1tha-1y-1 and SOC content decline of 0kgt-1y-1 for mineral soils and a carbon stock decline of 0tha-1y-1 for organic soils). Areas at higher and lower than possible acceptable risk are mapped. The veracity of boundaries is compromised if areas of unacceptable risk are mapped to administrative boundaries. Errors in monitoring change in risk of harm to soil and inadequate information on risk reduction measures' efficacy, at landscape scales, make it impossible to use or monitor quantitative targets for risk reduction adequately. The consequences for priority area definition of expressing varying acceptable risk of harm to soil as a varying probability of exceeding a fixed level of harm, or, a varying level of harm being exceeded with a fixed probability, are discussed. Soil data and predictive models for rates of harm to soil would need considerable development and validation to implement a priority area approach robustly. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Del Rio Vilas V.J.,Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA | Pfeiffer D.U.,Lane College
Veterinary Journal | Year: 2010

Evaluation of surveillance systems is a common practice in the context of human health, but only recently has been applied in the veterinary field. Commonly, a series of attributes are monitored to assess the system. Suboptimal performance of the surveillance in relation to any of these attributes may lead to bias in the surveillance results. The intensity of scrapie surveillance has increased considerably in recent years as a result of public health concerns. In this paper, a number of approaches described in the literature for the evaluation of surveillance systems are reviewed, with a focus on the sensitivity and representativeness attributes of scrapie surveillance systems in the European Union. Many of the methods applied in other fields, such as ecology and public health, are exchangeable and relevant for scrapie surveillance. © 2009.


PubMed | Food and Rural Affairs DEFRA
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Veterinary journal (London, England : 1997) | Year: 2010

Evaluation of surveillance systems is a common practice in the context of human health, but only recently has been applied in the veterinary field. Commonly, a series of attributes are monitored to assess the system. Suboptimal performance of the surveillance in relation to any of these attributes may lead to bias in the surveillance results. The intensity of scrapie surveillance has increased considerably in recent years as a result of public health concerns. In this paper, a number of approaches described in the literature for the evaluation of surveillance systems are reviewed, with a focus on the sensitivity and representativeness attributes of scrapie surveillance systems in the European Union. Many of the methods applied in other fields, such as ecology and public health, are exchangeable and relevant for scrapie surveillance.

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