Foot and Mouth Disease: New values, innovative research agenda's and policies
A.J. van der Zijpp, M.J.E. Braker, C.H.A.M. Eilers, H. Kieft, T.A. Vogelzang and S.J. Oosting
Publisher: Wageningen Academic
Published Date: Aug 31, 2004
A Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak is not by definition similar to a Foot and Mouth Disease crisis. Why then did the 2001 outbreak result in a crisis situation in the Netherlands? It was not because nobody was prepared for it. The Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Management and Fisheries had a scenario in stock.The scenario was applied as intended. The scenario did what it was supposed to do: it prevented the spreading of the disease, it resulted in a relatively soon eradication of the disease and it minimised damage to agricultural exports. Nevertheless, the crisis was there. "Foot and Mouth Disease: new values, innovative research agenda's and policies" reports a process in which individuals and groups involved in the crisis participated in a joint analysis of what caused the crisis, and in the making of a policy and research agenda. The conclusion was that ignorance of the societal function of animals and countryside was the cause of the crisis: the scenario focussed on Foot and Mouth Disease control in a production-oriented environment. In reality many people perceived that the scenario and its rigid application threatened nonproduction values such as the companion role of animals and the recreation function of the landscape.
Inevitably a next outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease will occur. However, research and policy makers should seriously take up this perception of animals and countryside to prevent an outbreak of becoming a deep crisis again.
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