Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

The changing role of veterinary expertise in the food chain

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Andrew Donaldson, Professor Philip Lowe, Dr Amy Proctor


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


This paper analyses how the changing governance of animal health has impacted upon veterinary expertise and its role in providing public health benefits. It argues that the social sciences can play an important role in understanding the nature of these changes, but also that their ideas and methods are, in part, responsible for them. The paper begins by examining how veterinary expertise came to be crucial to the regulation of the food chain in the twentieth century. The relationship between the veterinary profession and the state proved mutually beneficial, allowing the state to address the problems of animal health, and the veterinary profession to become identified as central to public health and food supply. However, this relationship has been gradually eroded by the application of neoliberal management techniques to the governance of animal health. This paper traces the impact of these techniques that have caused widespread unease within and beyond the veterinary profession about the consequences for its role in maintaining the public good of animal health. In conclusion, this paper suggests that the development of the social sciences in relation to animal health could contribute more helpfully to further changes in veterinary expertise.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Enticott G, Donaldson A, Lowe P, Power M, Proctor A, Wilkinson K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Year: 2011

Volume: 366

Issue: 1573

Pages: 1955-1965

Print publication date: 12/07/2011

ISSN (print): 0962-8436

ISSN (electronic): 1471-2970

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing


DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0408


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
RES-000-22-2578Economic and Social Research Council
RES-229-25-0025Economic and Social Research Council