Exotic livestock disease outbreaks have the capacity to significantly impact individual livestock keepers, as well as devastate an entire industry sector. However, up to now there has been limited research undertaken to understand how farmers think about and carry out exotic disease control practices within the social sciences. Using findings from an in-depth, large-scale qualitative study with animal keepers and veterinarians, CCRI’s Dr Damian Maye co-authored a paper with Rhiannon Naylor (lead author – RAU), Alice Hamilton-Webb (RAU) and Ruth Little (University of Sheffield), which has been accepted for publication in Sociologia Ruralis, which will be published later this year. The full reference of the paper is:
Naylor, R., Hamilton-Webb, A., Little, R. and Maye, D. (2016 – in press) The ‘good farmer’: farmer identities and the control of exotic livestock disease in England. Sociologia Ruralis.
The paper explores how the ‘good farmer’ identity concept influences farmers’ exotic livestock disease control practices and identifies three context specific, at times conflicting, ‘good farmer’ identities. Additionally, a defensive component is noted whereby farmers suggest an inability to carry out their role as a ‘good farmer’ due to government failings, poor practice undertaken by ‘bad farmers’, as well as the uncontrollable nature of exotic disease.