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Devolved responsibility and on-farm biosecurity: practices of biosecure farming care in livestock production


Higgins, V and Bryant, M and Hernandez-Jover, M and McShane, C, Devolved responsibility and on-farm biosecurity: practices of biosecure farming care in livestock production, Sociologia Ruralis pp. 1-20. ISSN 0038-0199 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/soru.12155


International efforts to prevent the spread of biological threats to agro-food production are increasingly being devolved from national governments to farming industries and farmers. Previous research has highlighted the farm-level and institutional challenges in engaging farmers in biosecurity. However, little is known sociologically about what farmers already know and do to manage disease risk, and specifically how they practice biosecurity. This article addresses this issue through the application of theoretical work on the choreography of care. Drawing from a qualitative study of biosecurity in the Australian beef industry, we argue that farmersí localised practices of caring for their herd health and farm are crucial in making biosecurity workable. These practices take two key forms: skilled craftwork, through which farmers construct and hold together different objects and elements of care; and fluid engineering, which involves efforts to construct barriers for separating on-farm practices of care from perceived off-farm disease risks. In engaging in these care practices, farmers make an important contribution to national livestock biosecurity principles and practices. We argue that greater recognition of localised practices of biosecure care may provide the basis for engaging farmers more effectively in a devolved form of biosecurity governance.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biosecurity governance, harmonisation, institutional logics, Australia, devolution of responsibility
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Business and Management
Research Field:Organisational Planning and Management
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
UTAS Author:Bryant, M (Professor Melanie Bryant)
ID Code:115819
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:4
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2017-04-11
Last Modified:2017-04-11

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