Missed Opportunities? Covid-19, Biosecurity and One-Health in the United Kingdom

Enticott, Gareth and Maye, Damian ORCID: 0000-0002-4459-6630 (2020) Missed Opportunities? Covid-19, Biosecurity and One-Health in the United Kingdom. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 7. Art No 577. doi:10.3389/fvets.2020.00577

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Abstract

Unprecedented. Whatever we read about Covid-19, the word unprecedented is not far away: whether in describing policy choices, the daily death tolls, the scale of upheaval, or the challenges that await a readjusting world. This paper takes an alternative view: if not unpredictable, the crisis unfolding in the United Kingdom (UK) is not unprecedented. Rather, it is foretold in accounts of successive animal health crises. In the UK at least, social studies of biosecurity and animal disease management provide an ‘anticipatory logic’ - a mirror to the unfolding human catastrophe of Covid-19, providing few surprises. And yet, these accounts appear to be routinely ignored in the narrative of Covid-19 or as social scientists have sought to claim a place at the disease control table alongside traditional forms of expertise like epidemiology. Do social studies of animal disease really have no value when it comes to guiding and assessing responses to Covid-19? Following Rosenberg’s (1989, p.3) description of epidemics as a ‘dramaturgic event’, we answer this question by firstly describing the narrative arc of the UK’s approach to managing Covid-19. We then overlay findings from social studies of animal disease to reveal the warnings they provided for a pandemic like Covid-19. We then reflect on the reasons why these studies have been paid minimal attention and the extent to which the failure to learn from these lessons of animal health management signals a failure of the One Health agenda.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture > SF 600 Veterinary medicine
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > Countryside and Community Research Institute
Research Priority Areas: Environmental Dynamics & Governance
Depositing User: Bethany Leake
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2020 09:51
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2020 04:15
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/8585

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