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Interspecies encounters with endemic health conditions: Co-producing BVD and lameness with cows and sheep in the north of England

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Beth ClarkORCiD, Dr Amy Proctor



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2023 European Society for Rural Sociology. This article focuses on the relationships between people and farmed nonhuman animals, and between these animals and the farmed environments they encounter, in the enactment of interspecies endemic disease situations. It examines how the nonhuman embodied capacities, agency and subjectivities of cows and sheep on farms in the north of England make a difference to how the endemic conditions of lameness and bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) are encountered and responded to by farmers and advisers. The article draws on empirical research with farmers and their advisers and explores three key, interrelated, themes: first, the importance of intersubjective relationships between people and animals on farms; second, the nonhuman components of the ‘disease situations’ associated with endemic diseases, including animals’ embodied characteristics and behaviours and the relationships between bodies and environments on different farms; and finally the ways in which animal agency and resistance makes a difference to on-farm interventions aiming to prevent or treat lameness and BVD. The article concludes by arguing that animals’ capacities, and nonhuman difference, should be taken further into account in future policy and practice interventions in endemic disease in farmed animals.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Holloway L, Mahon N, Clark B, Proctor A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sociologia Ruralis

Year: 2023

Pages: Epub ahead of print

Online publication date: 05/10/2023

Acceptance date: 23/09/2023

Date deposited: 09/11/2023

ISSN (print): 0038-0199

ISSN (electronic): 1467-9523

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc.


DOI: 10.1111/soru.12458

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/qq2a-nr05


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Funder referenceFunder name
Wellcome Trust