BOU Ethical Policy

You should note the Union's ethical policy which is set out below:

“The Union expects all authors of papers submitted to Ibis and recipients of BOU research grants to act within the law of the land in which the work is conducted. They must ensure therefore that they have the necessary licences for whatever they are doing. Investigators should abide by the spirit as well as the letter of relevant legislation. Where work is carried out in places lacking relevant legislation, or where this is not adequately administered, the work should conform to the ethical standards expected in the UK.

“The Union expects researchers to have proper regard for conservation considerations and humane practice. Attention is drawn to the guidelines for the use of animals in research published most recently in Animal Behaviour 2003, 65: 249-282.

“The Union is not opposed in principle to the taking of birds for valid scientific purposes. However, studies should not involve unnecessary risks or stress to individual animals nor impact significantly upon populations of plants or animals. Research workers should be aware that even field observations of free‑living birds can cause significant disturbance. The impact of any particular study should be evaluated in terms of possible gain in knowledge against possible adverse consequences for individuals or the population.

“Papers may be rejected and research grants may be refused solely on ethica1 grounds.”
Your application should indicate that the work conforms to this policy.

Also, please make clear whether your work will include the collection of specimens (for which copies of any appropriate licenses are required).