Good evening and welcome to The British Deer Society

BDS AGM 2018

BDS AGM 2018

British Deer Society AGM & Conference Weekend 2018 - 18th / 19th May 2018 

BDS AGM Seminars - A great success!

The BDS conference seminars held over the 2 days in Edinburgh were voted a great success by those attending. The meeting drew a broad cross section of attendees from the deer industry, academia, statutory bodies and NGOs as well as BDS members. 

Speakers covered a broad range of topics and if you were not able to attend some of the sessions that were live-streamed can be viewed below. You can also view a video of David Wright from Fieldsports TV who interviewed the outgoing and incoming chairs Profs Michael Thick and Rory Putman and event organiser John Bruce below.

Seminar videos

1. Professor Rory Putman - Chair BDS - "Assessing Chronic Stress in Deer through Infra-red Thermography".

2. Dr Jed Long - "Outdoor Recreation and Red Deer".

3. Dr Mark Dalgleish - "Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Deer, Elk and Moose".

4. Professor Richard Birtles - "Ticks and Lyme Disease".

5. Dr Tom McNeilly - "Risk of E.colis 0157 Contamination in Wild Venison".

6. David Wright from Fieldsports TV interviewing the outgoing and incoming BDS chairs Professors Michael Thick and Rory Putman and event organiser John Bruce.

More information and photos can be found on the BDS Facebook page.


Scottish Trustee Director and Area Chair John Bruce welcomed delegates, members and Society friends to Edinburgh. 

Friday 18th May was a full day conference with speakers on deer related topics of national importance including some of particular Scottish relevance. The conference took place in the Budongo Lecture Theatre at Edinburgh Zoo which was conveniently placed adjacent to the hotel. The Royal Zoological Society Scotland Edinburgh Zoo is set in over 82 acres of sloping parkland and home to over 1,000 rare and endangered animals, including Giant Pandas, and was well worth a visit.

Saturday’s conference was at the Holiday Inn itself and majored on talks by BDS sponsored researchers, ending with the AGM meeting late afternoon and finally the AGM dinner in the evening. Visitors could then decide whether to travel home on Sunday or spend more time exploring Scotland’s exciting capital city and the multitude of interesting places to visit.


Friday 18th May - Edinburgh University

09:00 Registration, Edinburgh Zoo
09:45 Welcome
Michael Thick, BDS Chairman
10:00  Genetics of deer - Hybridisation and introgression between red deer and Japanese sika
Prof. J.M. Pemberton, Institute of Evolutionary Biology
10:30 Biodiversity and ungulate management in managed forests
Claudia Jordan-Fragstein, Projektbüro BioWild
11.00  - Break -
11:30     Habitat Impact Assessment - Assessing herbivore impacts on woodlands: an observational approach
Dr Helen Armstrong
12:00 Scotland’s Wild Deer: A National Approach – what is the role of BDS?
Jessica Findlay, SNH
12:30  Wild Deer Best Practice - where it is and what is does
Alastair MacGugan, SNH
13:00  - Lunch and zoo visit. Free tickets to see the Pandas available -
15:00 Landscape development - Impacts of scale & diversity of land ownership in Scotland
Stephen Thomson, SRUC
15:30  Landscape development - The role of red deer in shaping the upland Scottish landscape
Dr James Fenton
16:00  Landscape development - National trends & regional differences in red deer density in Scotland
Donald Fraser, Operations Manager, SNH
16:30       - Close - 

Saturday 19th May 2018 - Holiday Inn Hotel

09:00  Registration Holiday Inn Hotel
09:30 Research - Roe deer genomics - Insights into the demographic history of roe deer populations
Menno de Jong, PhD candidate, Whitehead Trust
10:00 Research - A citizen science approach for studying impacts of outdoor recreation on red deer
Dr Jed Long, St Andrews University
10:30 Research - Disturbance of red deer on Ulva
Hagen O’Neill, Durham University
11:00  - Break -
11:30 Ticks & Borreliosis - Ticks on South Downs
Jo Middleton, BSMS
12:00 An overview of the ecology of Lyme disease in the UK
Prof Richard J Birtles, School of Environment & Life Sciences

Rationale and implementation of a UK-wide tick-borne virus deer serosurveillance study
Maya Holding, NIHR, University of Liverpool
13:00  - Lunch -
14:00 Deer Health - Chronic Wasting Disease, explained in worldwide scenario
Dr. Mark Dagleish
14:30 Deer Health - Modelling the susceptibility of British deer to Chronic Wasting Disease
Dr. Fiona Houston & Amy Robinson, Roslin Institute, Edinburgh
15:00 Deer Health - E Coli0157:H7 - prevalence and risks
Dr Tom McNeilly, Moredun Institute
Infra-red thermography: development of a field method to assess chronic stress in free-ranging deer
Prof Rory Putman
16.00  - Break -
16:30 BDS AGM
19:30 Aperitifs – Reception Holiday Inn Hotel
20:00 Society Dinner – Dining Room, Holiday Inn Hotel