Rewilding the Anthropocene

Work Package 7

The Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Assemblage

Work Package 7

The Foot-and-Mouth (FMD) Assemblage

The Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD) Assemblage is closely linked to conservation. The resurgence of buffalo populations across the KAZA TFCA has brought about FMD infections among all cloven-hoofed animals, including cattle. FMD areas are rigorously quarantined so that no cattle – e.g. from Namibia’s Zambezi Region -can be traded outside it. Yet, the disease is progressing and almost the entire KAZA TFCA area is affected. Measures are manifold. Regular vaccinations are one such measure. The complete eradication of buffalo herds has been contemplated but has not been followed up for reasons of conservation. Instead, major fences prevent buffalo movement in unaffected areas with a benign effect on the mobility of other wildlife.
This assemblage consists of the virus, its cloven-hoofed hosts, veterinary measures, and protective environmental infrastructures (e.g., national fences) to prevent infected buffalo from moving and of course local livestock owners. Compared to the Glossina/Trypanosoma assemblage, foot-and-mouth disease currently has a more detrimental effect on rural economies and especially on the large cattle herds of the rural elite than does trypanosomiasis. This work package examines however similar questions:

  1. How is Foot-and-Mouth Disease conceptualized by conservationists, planners, and local farmers?

  2. How do contemporary government administrations interact with local communities as they launch comprehensive disease control programs?

  3. How do scientists, officials, and local population interact in attempts of controlling FMD?
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