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Scripts, animal health and biosecurity: The moral accountability of farmers' talk about animal health risks

Enticott, Gareth Paul and Vanclay, Frank 2011. Scripts, animal health and biosecurity: The moral accountability of farmers' talk about animal health risks. Health, Risk & Society 13 (4) , pp. 293-309. 10.1080/13698575.2011.575456

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This paper explores the contribution of script theory to understandings of animal health risks. Script theory has long played an important role in studies of health and risk, yet the application of script theories is often vague and confused. Theories from different ontological perspectives are conflated resulting in an overly cognitive and asocial understanding of health behaviour with the potential to misinform health promotion strategies. The paper addresses these problems by applying the concept of script formulations to an analysis of farmers' understandings of bovine tuberculosis in farmed cattle. Drawing on interviews with 61 farmers in England and Wales, the paper argues that farmers reveal animal disease to be a scripted event, but that these scripts also order identity and provide a form of moral accountability for farmers' behaviour. This has implications for attempts to communicate animal disease risks and suggests that a more productive approach is to reorganise governance structures and relationships between farmers and government.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning
Subjects: S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animal health ; Biosecurity ; Scripts ; Risk ; Farming
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1369-8575
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 02:11

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Cited 11 times in Web of Science. View in Web of Science.

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