We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

A political ecology of bovine tuberculosis eradication in
Northern Ireland

ROBINSON, PHILIP,ALEXANDER (2014) A political ecology of bovine tuberculosis eradication in
Northern Ireland.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is arguably the most important animal health problem in the world. TB is endemic in the Global South, and also affects several nations and regions with highly developed cattle farming industries and statutory eradication programmes in the European Union, including Northern Ireland. The disease has implications for livestock agriculture, wildlife ecology, public health, and the national economy. In addition to scientific and technical complexities, socio-economic and socio-cultural factors affect efforts to control the disease. Disease problems such as TB at the human-nature interface are complex and indeterminate, and require innovative multidisciplinary research to find holistic and workable solutions: geography has much to contribute.
This investigation uses a political ecology framework, and provides explanations for the historical and geographical patterns of the disease through a ‘chain of explanation’ approach (Blaikie & Brookfield, 1987). It utilizes political ecology, STS, rural, cultural, health, ‘more-than-human’ and veterinary literatures to produce a political ecology of animal disease control in the First World. Significantly, this account is as much about people and politics as it is about land use, technology, cattle, badgers, bacteria and disease. Conducted from the positionality of being a vet and a farmer’s son, and based on ethnographic interviews with farmers, vets, policy makers and other agricultural industry representatives, the links in the chain explain why the statutory eradication programme has not yet been successful in achieving its original aim. The disease continues to spread across the landscape and evades efforts to eradicate. The thesis shows how TB permeates time and space shaped by global economic forces, political structures, cultural practices and complex ecologies. TB, often invisible and underestimated, must be made visible again. New network structures are required to rescale governance and move closer to the target of TB eradication.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Bovine TB, human geography, political ecology,
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 Oct 2014 08:42

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter