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Living with disease? Biosecurity and avian influenza in ostriches

Abstract

This paper is about an avian influenza outbreak in South Africa’s commercial ostrich industry. The outbreak was managed according to international best practice and led to the destruction of 30,000 ostriches in two of South Africa’s provinces. However, the industry has a long history of managing low pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks in a different way. We use the 2004 outbreak and earlier approaches to managing disease to shed light on recent debates on how we might live differently with livestock diseases. The paper is based on in-depth interviews with farmers, veterinarians, scientists and agriculture officials.

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Abbreviations

BSE:

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy

DOA:

Department of Agriculture

JOC:

Joint Operations Centre

KKC:

Klein Karoo Cooperative

NAMC:

National Agricultural Marketing Council

NDA:

South Africa National Department of Agriculture

OIE:

World Organisation for Animal Health

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Author information

Correspondence to Charles Mather.

Additional information

This article represents a contribution to an emerging and critical literature on biosecurity.

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Mather, C., Marshall, A. Living with disease? Biosecurity and avian influenza in ostriches. Agric Hum Values 28, 153–165 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10460-010-9271-0

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Keywords

  • Animal disease
  • Avian influenza
  • Living with disease
  • Ostriches
  • South Africa