The social and cultural impact of Foot and Mouth Disease in the UK in 2001

Experiences and analyses

Edited by Martin Döring and Brigitte Nerlich

The social and cultural impact of Foot and Mouth Disease in the UK in 2001

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7700-5
  • Pages: 288
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: July 2009
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Sociology, Animals & Society, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Agriculture & Food, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disease & Health Issues, Poverty & unemployment, Sociology, Sociology


The 2001 Foot and Mouth Disease epidemic in the UK, during which millions of animals were culled over a nine-month period, had a devastating and long-lasting impact on individuals and communities. In 2002 the European Parliament noted that policymakers need to have a better understanding of the social and psychological impact of such events on adults and children, on farmers and non-farmers. Although many studies about FMD have been published since 2001, this is the first to offer a detailed examination of the various ways in which the outbreak affected the fabric of rural life and rural culture across classes and across generations. Drawing on the experiences of farmers, the media, artists, writers, children and churches, this collection provides a space for academic inquiry, political and poetic reflection and artistic expression.


"The way in which contributors to this volume interrogate the knowledge-deficit model with reference to cognitive and social linguistics is timely"

(Paul R. Gilbert, Agriculture Hum Values 29:275-276, 2012)


List of plates
List of figures
List of tables
List of contributors
List of abbreviations
I. Introduction and historical overview
1. From mayhem to meaning: an introduction to the cultural meaning of the 2001 outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in the UK - Martin Döring and Brigitte Nerlich
2. The historical roots of FMD control in Britain, 1839-2001 - Abigail Woods
II. Experiences expressed
3. Farmers/writers: 'They may be experts but they know nowt' - Pamela Sandiford
4. Farmers: FMD and the abuse of democratic process - Susan Atkinson
5. Media: FMD in the West Country and the role of the Western Morning News - Barrie Williams
6. Artists and photographers: trembling representations - picturing FMD - Michael Madden (artwork) and Ian Geering (photography)
III. Experiences analysed
7. Farmers and valuers: divisions and divisiveness and the social cost of FMD - a sociological analysis of FMD in one locality - Sam Hillyard
8. Churches: the response of local churches to FMD - Lewis Burton
9. Children: 'Mary had a little lamb...' - trauma, stress and coping during the 2001 FMD crisis, as seen through the medium of children's poems - Martin Döring
IV. Experiences, contexts, analysis
10. Biosecurity: biosecurity and idyllic England in millennial Britain - Samantha Twigg Johnson
11. Life changes: altered lifescapes - Ian Convery, Cathy Bailey, Maggie Mort and Josephine Baxter
12. Technology: FMD 2001 - lessons emerging from county council websites - Briony Oates
13. Technology: the information and social needs of Cumbrian farmers during the UK 2001 FMD outbreak and the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) - Chris Hagar
14. Media: conceptualising Foot and Mouth Disease - the socio-cultural role of metaphors, frames and narratives - Brigitte Nerlich
15. Rumour: viral cows and viral culture? Towards an explanation of rumour in the 2001 UK outbreak of FMD - Nick Wright and Brigitte Nerlich
16. Disaster: a further species of trouble? Disaster and narrative - John Law and Vicky Singleton
V. Epilogue
17. Speaking truth to power: Foot and Mouth and the future of agriculture and its communities - Jules Pretty


Martin Döring is Research Fellow at the Research Centre for Biotechnology, Society and the Environment, University of Hamburg. Brigitte Nerlich is Professor of Science, Language and Society at the Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham

The social and cultural impact of Foot and Mouth Disease in the UK in 2001

Edited by Martin Döring, Brigitte Nerlich

Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

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