ScotGov: The Scottish Government has launched a consultation (closes on 16 July 2010) on a scheme to eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD). The proposed scheme would be in 2 stages:
* In the first (voluntary) phase farmers would receive £100 for every Persistently Infected Animal (PIA) slaughtered
* In the second, compulsory, phase PIAs would have to go straight to slaughter, recompense would be nominal at best and screening tests would be mandatory
BVD causes a complex of diseases in cattle, the most important of which interfere with reproduction, affect the unborn calf and lead to mucosal disease.  BVD virus can also cause enteritis during acute or transient infection which is usually mild but occasionally severe enough to cause mortality, even in adult cattle.  

Transient BVD virus infection is also associated with significant suppression of disease resistance and may contribute to the pneumonia complex in calves.
Press release ~ National BVD Eradication Scheme ~ ScotGov: Animal Health and Welfare
ScotGov: New draft guidance to help social workers, police, NHS staff and other professionals improve the protection of children at risk of abuse or neglect has been launched by Children's Minister, Adam Ingram, for consultation (closes on Friday 17 September 2010). 

It will replace outdated guidance from 1998 and cover new areas of practice including online safety & child trafficking, as well as issues which have become more prominent in recent years such as substance misuse.
Press release ~ National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland
CRC: The Department of Health is currently consulting (new closing date 2 July 2010) on proposals to allow people to register with a GP of their choice, rather than having to register where they live.  Although the Commission for Rural Communities supports the principle of patient choice, there are potentially adverse implications for rural GP practices and rural communities.
Some rural GP practices may become unviable if they lose too many patients, or may be left with a greater proportion of older patients with higher healthcare needs.  In the longer term, this may mean that some people living in rural communities have less choice, if they no longer have a local GP practice.  There are also issues about out of hours & emergency care.
Press release ~ Your choice of GP practice
Newswire – EU: A consultation (closes on 1 July 2010) inviting citizens, businesses & researchers to share ideas on how best to use information & communications technologies (ICTs) to help older Europeans live more independently and, more generally, to establish new ways to put ICTs at the service of the most vulnerable members of society, has been launched by a high-level panel established to advise the European Commission on the functioning of the Ambient Assisted Living joint programme (AAL JP).
The public consultation is the first step towards meeting the target of doubling the take-up of independent living arrangements for the elderly by 2015 set by the Digital Agenda (see IP/10/581).  The Commission's participation in the Ambient Assisted Living programme results from a 2007 action plan on ‘Ageing Well in the Information Society’ (see IP/07/831).
Press release ~ Consultation on the interim review of the AAL Joint programme ~ Ambient Assisted Living joint programme ~ EU's research framework programme ~ EU's ICT Policy Support Programme ~ Action plan offers support to ageing well using ICT ~ Europe 2020 strategy ~ Digital Agenda for Europe ~ Overview of projects supported by the AAL JP (VLF 4.35Mb)
FSA: The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published proposals for consultation (closes on 6 September 2010) to strengthen its requirements on competence for individuals carrying out retail activities, while placing more emphasis on standards of ethical behaviour. 
Plans to publish lists of qualifications in the Handbook that meet FSA requirements will mean that firms & individuals will have an easily accessible & comprehensive source of approved qualifications.  RDR professionalism proposals will be set out in the next RDR consultation paper (due in June 2010).
Press release ~ Consultation paper
WAG: A 7p charge on carrier bags looks set to come into force in Wales from spring 2011. The Welsh Environment Minister, Jane Davidson, was at the Hay Festival last week to launch a second consultation (closes on 2 August 2010) on the carrier bag charge – See ‘In the News’ section for more information.
Smart Places & Communities