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You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Animal disease and human trauma: the psychosocial implications of the 2001 UK foot and mouth disease disaster / About

Animal disease and human trauma: the psychosocial implications of the 2001 UK foot and mouth disease disaster

By M. Mort, J. Baxter, C. Bailey, I. Convery

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Abstract

The 2001 UK foot and mouth disease (FMD) crisis is commonly understood to have been a nonhuman animal problem, an economic industrial crisis that was resolved after eradication. By using a different lens, a longitudinal ethnographic study of the health and social consequences of the epidemic, the research reported here indicates that 2001 was a human tragedy as well as an animal one. In a diary-based study, it can be seen that life after the FMD crisis was accompanied by distress, feelings of bereavement, fear of a new disaster, loss of trust in authority and systems of control, and the undermining of the value of local knowledge. Diverse groups experienced distress well beyond the farming community. Such distress remained largely invisible to the range of "official" inquiries into the disaster. That an FMD epidemic of the scale of 2001 could happen again in a developed country is a deeply worrying prospect, but it is to be hoped that contingency plans are evolving along with enhanced understanding of the human, animal, and financial cost.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 11
Issue 2
Pages 133-148
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700801925984
Language English
Author Address Institute for Health Research, Bowland Tower East, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YT, UK.m.mort@lancaster.ac.uk
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Tags
  1. Animal diseases
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. British Isles
  6. Commonwealth of Nations
  7. Developed countries
  8. Europe
  9. Foot-and-mouth disease
  10. Great Britain
  11. Humans
  12. Mammals
  13. Men
  14. OECD countries
  15. outbreaks
  16. pathogens
  17. peer-reviewed
  18. Primates
  19. United Kingdom
  20. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed