Gender in Ethnoveterinary Medicine

Gender plays an important role in Ethnoveterinary medicine. Women are often the primary carers for livestock in smallholder systems in developing communities. As such, much of the health care, feed…

Source: Gender in Ethnoveterinary Medicine


Animals, Disease and Human Society- The rise of veterinary medicine.

This excellent book clearly outlines the value Veterinary Anthropology can provide to our understanding of animals, disease and society. It also provides context for veterinarians to understand how their profession became such as it did.

Animals, Disease and Human Society: Human-animal Relations and the Rise of Veterinary Medicine

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In recent years, the issue of animal disease has seldom been out of the headlines. The emergence of BSE and the threat of food-borne infections such as E.coli and salmonella have focused public attention on the impact of animal disease on human society. However, the problem of animal disease is far from new. Animals, Disease and Human Society explores the history and nature of our dependency on other animals and the implications of this for human and animal health.

Writing from a historical and sociological perspective, Joanna Swabe’s work discusses such issues as:

* animal domestication
* the consequences of human exploitation of other animals, including links between human and animal disease
* the rise of a veterinary regime, designed to protect humans and animals alike
* implications of intensive farming practices, pet-keeping and recent biotechnological developments.

This account spans a period of some ten thousand years, and raises important questions about the increasing intensification of animal use for both animal and human health. All those interested in human-animal relationships or in public health issues will find Animals, Disease and Human Society a thought-provoking and rewarding work.

Joanna Swabe is a Postdoctoral Researcher affiliated to the Amsterdam School for Social Science Research, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Veterinary suicide- the social and workplace factors that increase the risk

A UK study found that veterinarians had a 4 times higher risk of suicide than the general population, and twice that of other health care professionals. Veterinary anthropological research into the social and work related influences and stressors leading to this increased risk are vital to developing suicide prevention strategies. buffalo face-1

“Possible factors include the characteristics of individuals entering the profession, negative effects during undergraduate training, work-related stressors, ready access to and knowledge of means, stigma associated with mental illness, professional and social isolation, and alcohol or drug misuse (mainly prescription drugs to which the profession has ready access). Contextual effects such as attitudes to death and euthanasia, formed through the profession’s routine involvement with euthanasia of companion animals and slaughter of farm animals, and suicide ‘contagion’ due to direct or indirect exposure to suicide of peers within this small profession are other possible influences.”

Download the paper here: Veterinary suicide in the UK


Ethnobotanical surveys

Ethnobotanical surveys are used to identify medicinal products used by local people. The capture of indigenous knowledge about the care and healing of animals in local communities has become an imperative. Urban migration and loss of transmission of the oral lineage of knowledge means these traditions are quickly disappearing.


Identifying medicinal plants used by herders in the north of Bhutan.
Identifying medicinal plants used by herders on their animals in the north of Bhutan.