Impact of the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Britain; implications for rural studies

Alister Scott, P. Midmore, M. Christie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    66 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper assesses the impact of the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in terms of its implications for the discipline of rural studies. In particular, it focuses on the position of agriculture in rural economy and society, the standing of the government after its management of the outbreak, and the performance of the new devolved regional tiers of government. After a brief review of the history and aggregate impact of the outbreak, the general themes of the paper are explored from a range of Welsh case-study evidence, showing the impact on farm structures and the environment, rural communities and their social life. The major conclusions are that the unanticipated magnitude of effect of the outbreak should direct more attention to the nature of the space shared as a public good by agriculture and rural tourism; that the loss of trust in administrations as a result of the specific management of the outbreak reveals scope for new approaches in the study of governance and partnership at a rural level; and the opportunity for the devolved administrations to emphasise a difference in perspective, on both the outbreak and rural issues in general, highlights potentially widening fault-lines in the constitutional reform process, especially as discussion over the future of European rural policies proceed. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-14
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Rural Studies
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


    • foot and mouth disease
    • rural restructuring
    • governance
    • contingency plans
    • evaluation


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