Cover: Arresting Contagion: Science, Policy, and Conflicts over Animal Disease Control, from Harvard University PressCover: Arresting Contagion in HARDCOVER

Arresting Contagion

Science, Policy, and Conflicts over Animal Disease Control

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Product Details


$56.00 • £44.95 • €50.50

ISBN 9780674728776

Publication Date: 02/09/2015


480 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

11 halftones, 15 maps, 9 graphs, 5 tables


Arresting Contagion is…a penetrating glimpse into the behavioral economics that defined early animal disease control efforts in the United States… In their book, Olmstead and Rhode probe the motives that drive individuals to comply with, or reject, efforts to mitigate animal disease transmission. These motives are both fascinating and, more often than not, uncomfortably predictable… Will [be] useful to those who are grappling with the recent resurgence in zoonotic diseases brought about by the rapid expansion of the livestock sector in developing countries and elsewhere.—Delia Grace, Science

Economists Olmstead and Rhode present an absorbing, detailed account of the often tumultuous history of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), which was formed in 1884 to help stem the tide of contagious livestock diseases. The authors emphasize the many stumbling blocks the BAI encountered implementing this mandate, its eventual eradication of several high-profile diseases, and the overall status of meat inspection/food safety programs and animal disease control infrastructure during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This well written, fully researched, eye-opening account will be valuable to anyone interested in livestock production, animal disease control, agricultural economics, veterinary medical history, public health, and historical aspects of interstate commerce.—D. A. Brass, Choice

Anyone who believes that privatization and markets are the solution to all problems should read this book. Olmstead and Rhode make a brilliant case that federal government regulation was necessary to curb devastating animal diseases, that the benefits of regulation for the livestock industry in the U.S. many times outweighed the costs, and that these efforts had substantial health benefits for humans as well.—Naomi R. Lamoreaux, Yale University

A remarkable book on a subject underpinning all aspects of contemporary livestock agricultural sciences and livestock veterinary medicine in the United States. It covers the history of the impact of the animal and zoonotic diseases that have had great economic and public health significance in the era of the rise of commercial agricultural industries and the rise of our food safety infrastructure. It poses a critical question: What about the future? How shall we deal with emerging problems that seem so much more complex than those of the past?—Frederick A. Murphy, University of Texas Medical Branch

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