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Preface This collection was selected from papers presented at a conference titled “Veterinary Science, Disease and Livestock Economies,” which was organized by the editors and held at St Antony’s College, Oxford, in June 2005. The idea for the conference originated from our project, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, which explored the history of veterinary science at the Onderstepoort Research Laboratories in South Africa during the first half of the twentieth century. Our comparative reading revealed that veterinary medicine and its relations with society and the economy are underrepresented in the historiography. The relative dearth of historical studies on the subject seemed curious, given the importance of pastoralism as a productive activity in many countries and its relationship to food supply and to environmental change. The aim of the conference, therefore, was to begin to address this gap in the literature by calling for studies examining interconnections between livestock economies, veterinary science, disease, and the environment. The call for papers was intended to attract scholars from a variety of disciplines, and we succeeded in bringing together historians, anthropologists , scientists, veterinarians, and economists. The material presented was historically and geographically widespread, ranging from the eighteenth century to the present day and covering America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australasia. A sizable percentage of the studies related to South Africa, probably reflecting the editors’ contacts, and some of these have appeared in “Livestock Diseases and Veterinary Science,” a special edition of the South African Historical Journal published in 2007. This book consists of case studies from the United States, the Caribbean, western Europe, parts of colonial Africa and Asia, and Australasia. ...


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