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'Just-in-time' disease: biosecurity, poultry, and power

Allen, John and Lavau, Stephanie (2015). 'Just-in-time' disease: biosecurity, poultry, and power. Journal of Cultural Economy, 8(3) pp. 342–360.

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Disease and profits make for interesting bedfellows in modern factory farming, especially where poultry is concerned. Profitable, cheap factory-farmed chicken is dependent on large-scale, industrial throughput, yet those very same intensive conditions pose real risks for disease outbreaks. Campylobacter in poultry is now the main reported cause of food poisoning in the UK, responsible for more than 100 deaths a year. In this paper, drawing upon fieldwork from across the poultry supply chain, we argue that the intersection of just-in-time pressures, commercial and regulatory, with particular practices of biosecurity on farms and in processing factories, provides prime conditions for the amplification and spread of Campylobacter. We go on to argue that such ecologies of poultry production are best understood as part of a relational economy of disease, and that the very control exercised over the lives of farmed birds risks reversal into ever greater insecurity.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2014 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1753-0369
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Biosecurity Borderlands: making biosecurity work in a complex landscape.ES/G034974/1ESRC
Extra Information: Special Issue: In Vivo Economies: Temporalities of Life and Value
Keywords: just-in-time; biosecurity; disease; poultry; power
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: OpenSpace Research Centre (OSRC)
Item ID: 40742
Depositing User: John Allen
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2014 08:16
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2019 02:05
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