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Carcass disposal and siting controversy: Risk, dialogue and confrontation in the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Judith Bush, Professor Peter Phillimore, Professor Tanja Pless-Mulloli, Dr Christine Thompson


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This paper examines controversy during the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak after mass carcass burial sites were selected at two sites in northeast England, and focuses on shortcomings in public consultation surrounding the carcass disposal policy. The slaughter of six million animals necessitated a national disposal strategy on a hitherto unknown scale. The belated decision to concentrate carcass disposal in a small number of mass burial sites provoked more opposition in the two ex-mining localities selected in the northeast than anywhere else. In both cases local liaison committees were established to manage dialogue between residents and public authorities. We argue that, although seen by the authorities primarily as a vehicle for risk communication and public reassurance, for residents these functioned chiefly as a vehicle for holding public authorities to account. These divergent purposes were overshadowed by the chaotic circumstances in which the early stages of the mass burial policy were implemented, and the way in which the carcass disposal policy was dictated by the operation of the slaughter policy, whose draconian form precluded any but the most cursory public consultation. © 2005 Taylor & Francis.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bush J, Phillimore PR, Pless-Mulloli T, Thompson C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Local Environment

Year: 2005

Volume: 10

Issue: 6

Pages: 649-664

Print publication date: 01/12/2005

ISSN (print): 1354-9839

ISSN (electronic): 1469-6711


DOI: 10.1080/13549830500321907


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