The ins and outs of biosecurity: bird 'flu in East Anglia and the spatial representation of risk

Nerlich, Brigitte, Brown, Brian and Wright, Nick (2009) The ins and outs of biosecurity: bird 'flu in East Anglia and the spatial representation of risk. Sociologia Ruralis, 49 (4). pp. 344-359. ISSN 0038-0199

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Avian influenza, or 'bird 'flu' arrived in Norfolk in April 2006 in the form of the low pathogenic strain H7N3. In February 2007 a highly pathogenic strain, H5N1, which can pose a risk to humans, was discovered in Suffolk. We examine how a local newspaper reported the outbreaks, focusing on the linguistic framing of biosecurity. Consistent with the growing concern with securitisation among policymakers, issues were discussed in terms of space (indoor–outdoor; local–global; national–international) and flows (movement, barriers and vectors) between spaces (farms, sheds and countries). The apportioning of blame along the lines of 'them and us'– Hungary and England – was tempered by the reporting on the Hungarian operations of the British poultry company. Explanations focused on indoor and outdoor farming and alleged breaches of biosecurity by the companies involved. As predicted by the idea of securitisation, risks were formulated as coming from outside the supposedly secure enclaves of poultry production.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Article published in: Sociologia Ruralis : Journal of the European Society for Rural Sociology, 49(4), (2009), 344-359. The definitive version is available at:
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Nerlich, Professor Brigitte
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2010 14:29
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 20:26

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