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Title: Sheep scab in Scotland : an exploration of multiple disease situations
Author: Middelveld, Senna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 0756
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis presents an Actor-Network Theory (ANT) inspired analysis of sheep scab in Scotland. Sheep scab is caused by scab mites, and it has a long history in terms of its legislation and available treatments in the UK. In 2010 it became a notifiable livestock disease again in Scotland. Even though sheep scab is studied by natural scientists and economists, it remains unclear how scab is understood by sheep practitioners. This means that the stories, practices and knowledges of sheep practitioners who work at the forefront of sheep scab (in terms of its recognition, diagnosis, treatment and notification) remain absent from the political arena. However, their activities shape how rules and regulations are used. An ANT approach proved helpful for this research, because it allows the researcher to follow connections. The connections followed are sheep scab stories and practices. This research therefore has the following main question: How are multiple sheep scab situations enacted in Scotland? Multi-sited ethnography is the methodology used for this research, and semi structured interviews and field observations were done to get in-depth information about sheep scab situations in Scotland. In total 47 interviews, and 14 observations were done from 2013-2014 with diverse respondents ranging from farmers, veterinarians, slaughterhouse employees and natural scientists. This thesis contributes empirically and theoretically to human-animal studies (HAS). The empirical findings are that the notification legislation for sheep scab is rarely used; sheep scab diagnoses are rarely done; and finally, sheep practitioners trust their own situated knowledges of sheep scab. The theoretical contribution is a reworking of ANT to make it more suitable for studying sheep scab. In particular I rework ANT's confusing terminology; its tendency to reduce entities to their effects; and I include concepts from livestock disease literature that proved particularly helpful.
Supervisor: Wilkie, Rhoda ; McKinnon, Andrew ; Sutherland, Lee-Ann Sponsor: EPIC (Epidemiology ; Population Health and Infectious Disease Control)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Scabies in sheep ; Actor-network theory ; Disease management