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Choosing and rejecting cattle and sheep: changing discourses and practices of (de)selection in pedigree livestock breeding

Gilna, Ben; Holloway, Lewis; Morris, Carol; Gibbs, David

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This paper examines the discourses and practices of pedigree livestock breeding, focusing on beef cattle and sheep in the UK, concentrating on an under-examined aspect of this-the deselection and rejection of some animals from future breeding populations. In the context of exploring how animals are valued and represented in different ways in relation to particular agricultural knowledge-practices, it focuses on deselecting particular animals from breeding populations, drawing attention to...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorGilna, Ben
dc.contributor.authorHolloway, Lewis
dc.contributor.authorMorris, Carol
dc.contributor.authorGibbs, David
dc.date.accessioned2015-12-10T23:15:42Z
dc.identifier.issn0889-048X
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/64754
dc.description.abstractThis paper examines the discourses and practices of pedigree livestock breeding, focusing on beef cattle and sheep in the UK, concentrating on an under-examined aspect of this-the deselection and rejection of some animals from future breeding populations. In the context of exploring how animals are valued and represented in different ways in relation to particular agricultural knowledge-practices, it focuses on deselecting particular animals from breeding populations, drawing attention to shifts in such knowledge-practices related to the emergence of "genetic" techniques in livestock breeding which are arguably displacing "traditional" visual and experiential knowledge's of livestock animals. The paper situates this discussion in the analytical framework provided by Foucault's conception of "biopower," exploring how interventions in livestock populations aimed at the fostering of domestic animal life are necessarily also associated with the imperative that certain animals must die and not contribute to the future reproduction of their breed. The "geneticization" of livestock breeding produces new articulations of this process associated with different understandings of animal life and the possibilities of different modes of intervention in livestock populations. Genetic techniques increasingly quantify and rationalize processes of selection and deselection, and affect how animals are perceived and valued both as groups and as individuals. The paper concludes by emphasizing that the valuation of livestock animals is contested, and that the entanglement of "traditional" and "genetic" modes of valuation means that there are multiple layers of valuation and (de)selection involved in breeding knowledge-practices.
dc.publisherKluwer Academic Publishers
dc.sourceAgriculture and Human Values
dc.subjectKeywords: Animalia; Bos; Ovis aries Beef cattle and sheep; Biopower; Genetics; Knowledge-practices; Livestock breeding; UK
dc.titleChoosing and rejecting cattle and sheep: changing discourses and practices of (de)selection in pedigree livestock breeding
dc.typeJournal article
local.description.notesImported from ARIES
local.identifier.citationvolumeOnline
dc.date.issued2011
local.identifier.absfor070201 - Animal Breeding
local.identifier.ariespublicationf2965xPUB993
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationGilna, Ben, College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, ANU
local.contributor.affiliationHolloway, Lewis, University of Hull
local.contributor.affiliationMorris, Carol, University of Nottingham
local.contributor.affiliationGibbs, David, University of Hull
local.description.embargo2037-12-31
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage1
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage15
local.identifier.doi10.1007/s10460-010-9298-2
local.identifier.absseo830310 - Sheep - Meat
local.identifier.absseo830301 - Beef Cattle
dc.date.updated2016-02-24T08:34:47Z
local.identifier.scopusID2-s2.0-81555195707
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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