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Animal roles and traces in the history of medicine, c.1880–1980



This paper argues for the need to create a more animal-centred history of medicine, in which animals are considered not simply as the backdrop for human history, but as medical subjects important in and of themselves. Drawing on the tools and approaches of animal and human–animal studies, it seeks to demonstrate, via four short historical vignettes, how investigations into the ways that animals shaped and were shaped by medicine enables us to reach new historical understandings of both animals and medicine, and of the relationships between them. This is achieved by turning away from the much-studied fields of experimental medicine and public health, to address four historically neglected contexts in which diseased animals played important roles: zoology/pathology, parasitology/epidemiology, ethology/psychiatry, and wildlife/veterinary medicine. Focusing, in turn, on species that rarely feature in the history of medicine – big cats, tapeworms, marsupials and mustelids – which were studied, respectively, within the zoo, the psychiatric hospital, human–animal communities and the countryside, we reconstruct the histories of these animals using the traces that they left on the medical-historical record.

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2 Wilkinson, Lise, Animals and Disease: An Introduction to the History of Comparative Medicine, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992 ; Guerrini, Anita, Experimenting with Humans and Animals: From Galen to Animal Rights, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003 ; Bynum, W., ‘“C'est un malade”: animal models and concepts of human diseases’, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (1990) 45, pp. 397413 .

3 Simon, Jonathan, ‘Monitoring the stable at the Pasteur Institute’, Science in Context (2008) 21, pp. 181200 ; Schlich, Thomas, Mykhalovskiy, Eric and Rock, Melanie, ‘Animals in surgery – surgery in animals: nature and culture in animal–human relationship and modern surgery’, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (2009) 31, pp. 321354 .

4 Rupke, Nicolaas (ed.), Vivisection in Historical Perspective, London: Routledge, 1990 ; Kean, Hilda, ‘The “smooth cool men of science”: the feminist and socialist response to vivisection’, History Workshop Journal (1995) 40, pp. 1638 .

5 Clarke, Adele and Fujimura, Joan (eds.), The Right Tools for the Job: At Work in Twentieth-Century Life Sciences, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1992 ; Clause, Bonnie, ‘The Wistar rat as a right choice: establishing mammalian standards and the ideal of a standardized mammal’, Journal of the History of Biology (1993) 26, pp. 329349 ; Rader, Karen, ‘Scientific animals’, in Malamamud, Randy (ed.), A Cultural History of Animals in the Modern Age, London: Berg, 2007, pp. 119137 .

6 Dan Vandersommers, ‘The “animal turn” in history’, American Historical Association Blog, 3 November 2016, at

7 Most recently see Kirk, Robert G.W. and Worboys, Michael, ‘Medicine and species: one medicine, one history?’, in Jackson, Mark (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the History of Medicine, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011, pp. 561577 ; and Bresalier, Michael, Cassidy, Angela and Woods, Abigail, ‘One health in history’, in Zinsstag, J., Schelling, E., Waltner-Toews, D., Whittaker, M. and Tanner, M. (eds.), One Health: The Theory and Practice of Integrated Health Approaches, Wallingford: CAB International, 2015, pp. 115 .

8 Key exceptions are: Todes, Daniel, ‘Pavlov's physiology factory’, Isis (1997) 88, pp. 205–46; Kirk, Robert, ‘The invention of the “stressed animal” and the development of a science of animal welfare, 1947–86’, in Cantor, David and Ramsden, Edmund (eds.), Stress, Shock, and Adaptation in the Twentieth Century, Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2014, pp. 241263 .

9 Key exceptions are Degeling, Chris, ‘Negotiating value: comparing human and animal fracture care in industrial societies’, Science, Technology and Human Values (2009) 34, pp. 77101 ; Schlich, Thomas and Schlünder, Martina, ‘The emergence of “implant-pets” and “bone-sheep”: animals as new biomedical objects in orthopedic surgery (1960s–2010)’, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (2009) 31, pp. 433466 ; Gradmann, Christoph, ‘Robert Koch and the invention of the carrier state: tropical medicine, veterinary infections and epidemiology around 1900’, Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences (2010) 41, pp. 232240 .

10 Porter, Roy, ‘Man, animals and medicine at the time of the founding of the Royal Veterinary College’, in Mitchell, A.R. (ed.), History of the Healing Professions, 4 vols., Wallingford: CAB International, 1993, vol. 3, pp. 1930 , 19.

11 Woods, Abigail, ‘From one medicine to two: the evolving relationship between human and veterinary medicine in England, 1791–1835’, Bulletin of the History of Medicine (2017), forthcoming.

12 Callon, Michel and Law, J., ‘Some elements of a sociology of translation: domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay’, in Law, J. (ed.), Power, Action and Belief: A New Sociology of Knowledge, London: Routledge, 1986, pp. 196223 ; Latour, Bruno, The Pasteurization of France, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1988 ; Fudge, E., ‘A left-handed blow: writing the history of animals’, in Rothfels, N. (ed.), Representing Animals, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002, pp. 318 ; Haraway, Donna, Where Species Meet, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007 ; Brantz, Dorothee (ed.), Beastly Natures: Animals, Humans, and the Study of History, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010 ; Kean, Hilda, ‘Challenges for historians writing animal–human history: what is really enough?’, Anthrozoos (2012) 25, supplement, pp. S57S72 ; various, Does history need animals?, History and Theory special issue (2013) 52; Nance, Susan (ed.), The Historical Animal, New York: Syracuse University Press, 2015 ; Despret, Vinciane, What Would Animals Say if We Asked the Right Questions?, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016 .

13 ‘One medicine? Investigating human and animal disease’, Wellcome Trust Programme Grant 092719/Z/10/A, PI Abigail Woods.

14 Kean, op. cit. (12), pp. 61–62.

15 Fudge, op. cit. (12), p. 6.

16 Benson, E., ‘Animal writes: historiography, disciplinarity, and the animal trace’, in Kalof, L. and Montgomery, G.M. (eds.), Making Animal Meaning, East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2011, pp. 316 , 11.

17 Cooter, Roger, ‘The turn of the body: history and the politics of the corporeal’, ARBOR Ciencia, Pensamiento y Cultura (2010) 186(743), pp. 393405 ; Crozier, Ivan, ‘Bodies in history: the task of the historian’, in Crozier, (ed.), The Cultural History of the Human Body, vol. 6: 1920–Present, London: Bloomsbury, 2014, pp. 120 ; Eitler, Pascal, ‘Animal history as body history: four suggestions from a genealogical perspective’, Body Politics (2014) 2, pp. 259274 .

18 Case 14, Bay 8, Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, London [RCS].

19 RCSPC/01291 – skeleton, rickets, mounted dry bone. Museum Collections, RCS.

20 Sutton, John Bland, ‘On the diseases of monkeys in the society's gardens’, Proceedings of the Zoological Society London (1883), pp. 581586 .

21 Such matters rarely feature in histories of this institution. See e.g. Ito, Takashi, London Zoo and the Victorians, 1828–1859, Rochester, NY: Boydell and Brewer, 2014 .

22 Sutton, John Bland, The Story of a Surgeon, London: Methuen, 1931 .

23 See, for example, Sutton, John Bland, ‘On the diseases of the carnivorous mammals in the society's gardens’, Proceedings of the Zoological Society London (1884), pp. 177187 ; Sutton, Bland, ‘Comparative dental pathology’, Odontological Society Transactions (1884) 16, pp. 88145 .

24 Bland Sutton, op. cit. (22).

25 Dean, H.R., ‘The Pathological Society of London’, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine (1946) 39(12), pp. 823827 .

26 Pathological Society of London’, British Medical Journal (1879) 25(1), pp. 123125 ; Pathological Society of London, Minute Book 3, AGM 7/1/79, Royal Society of Medicine Archive, London; Power, W.H., ‘Thoughts on the nature of certain observed relations between diphtheria and milk’, Transactions of the Pathological Society London (1879) 30, pp. 546551 .

27 Worboys, Michael, Spreading Germs, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000 .

28 Archives of the Pathological Society of London, Royal Society of Medicine: Council and General Minute Book, 1852–1884, PSL/A/6; Annual Report Book, 1879–1886, PSL/A/R/2.

29 Wilkinson, op. cit. (2).

30 Bland Sutton, op. cit. (20), p. 586.

31 Sutton, John Bland, ‘Rickets in a baboon’, Transactions of the Pathological Society of London (1883) 34, pp. 312315 ; and Bland Sutton, ‘Bone disease in animals’, ibid., pp. 315–322; Pathological Society of London’, The Lancet (1883) 122(3138), pp. 685686 .

32 Sutton, J. Bland, ‘Observations on rickets, &c., in wild animals’, Journal of Anatomy and Physiology (1884) 18(4), pp. 362387 .

33 Bland Sutton, op. cit. (32), p. 364.

34 Bland Sutton, op. cit. (32), pp. 381–382.

35 Dr Cheadle, Introductory address: a discussion on rickets’, British Medical Journal (1882) 2(1456), pp. 11451148 .

36 Bland Sutton, ‘Comparative dental pathology’, op. cit. (23), p. 143.

37 E.g. RCSOM/G 46.12 – skull, rickets, osteomalacia, Museum Collections, RCS.

38 Cheadle, op. cit. (35), p. 1146.

39 Chesney, Russell W. and Hedberg, Gail, ‘Metabolic bone disease in lion cubs at the London Zoo in 1889: the original animal model of rickets’, Journal of Biomedical Science (2010) 17, Supplement 1, pp. S36S39 .

40 Pilleri, G., ‘Bewegungsstereotypien beim nordamerikanischen Opossum’, Revue Suisse de zoologie (1960) 67, pp. 519521 , citing papers by the Swiss zoologists Heini Hediger and Monika Holzapfel and the German psychiatrist Ernst Kretschmer, published in the 1930s.

41 See, for example, Rene Spitz, Harry Harlow, John Bowlby.

42 Pilleri, G., ‘Zum Verhalten der Paka (Cuniculus paca Linnaeus)’, Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde (1960) 25, pp. 107111 .

43 Pilleri, op. cit. (42), p. 109.

44 Strasser, Bruno, ‘Collecting nature: practices, styles, and narratives’, Osiris (2012) 27(1), pp. 303340 .

45 Pilleri, op. cit. (40), p. 520.

46 Pilleri, G., ‘Zum Verhalten der Aplodontia rufa (Rodentia, Aplodontoidea) in Gefangenschaft’, Zeitschrift für Säugetierkunde (1960) 25(1), pp. 3034 ; Wandeler, Irene and Pilleri, G., ‘Weitere Beobachtungen zum Verhalten von Aplodontia rufa Rafinesque (Rodentia, Aplodonoidea) in Gefangenschaft’, Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie (1965) 22(5), pp. 570583 .

47 Pilleri, op. cit. (40), p. 110.

48 G. Pilleri to Regierungsrat Blaser, 5 August 1965, Staatsarchiv Bern, B Verwaltungsarchive, BB X Bauwesen, BB X 1220: ‘Hirnanatomisches Institut Waldau (1964–1965)’.

49 Ernst Grünthal to W.G. Stoll (Geigy), 16 May 1963, folder ‘Stiftungen’, box ‘Schreibtisch Schubladen Mitte’, Grünthal papers, Schweizerisches Psychiatrie-Museum Bern (Waldau), Bern.

50 Pilleri, G., Das hirnanatomische Institut der psychiatrischen Universitätsklinik Bern: 1934–1969 Rückschau und Ausblick, Bern: Hirnanatomisches Institut, 1969 .

51 Gerber, Lucie, ‘Marketing loops: the development of psychopharmacological screening at Geigy in the 1960s and 1970s’, in Gaudillière, Jean-Paul and Thoms, Ulrike (eds.), The Development of Scientific Marketing in the Twentieth Century: Research for Sales in the Pharmaceutical Industry, London: Pickering & Chatto, 2015, pp. 191212 .

52 Pilleri, G., ‘Zur feineren Struktur und vergleichenden Anatomie des Corpus Striatum primitive Beutel- und Nagetiere’, Acta Anatomica (1962), 48, pp. 347367 .

53 See, on a similarly fascinating mammal in American comparative psychology, Pettit, Michael, ‘The problem of raccoon intelligence in behaviourist America’, BJHS (2010) 43(3), pp. 391421 .

54 Pilleri, G. and Poeck, K., ‘Arterhaltende und soziale Instinktbewegungen als neurologische Symptome beim Menschen’, Psychiatria et Neurologia (1964) 147(4), pp. 193238 .

55 Pilleri, G., ‘Instinktbewegungen des Menschen in biologischer und neuropathologischer Sicht’, Bibliotheca Psychiatrica (1971) 147, pp. 137 , 6.

56 Pilleri, op. cit. (55), p. 2. An argument also made by Konrad Lorenz, whom Pilleri cited. Lorenz had notably made his comments during National Socialism, describing (human) domestication as one of these ultimately limiting forms of overspecialization.

57 Pilleri and Poeck, op. cit. (54), p. 195.

58 Pilleri and Poeck, op. cit. (54), thus cited Constantin von Monakow's theory of chronogenic localization of functions and John Hughlings Jackson's work.

59 Summarized and cited in Pilleri and Poeck, op. cit. (54).

60 In neighbouring France, Ey, Henri, ‘Le concept de “psychiatrie animale” (difficultés et intérêt de sa problématique)’, in Brion, Abel and Ey, Henri (eds.), Psychiatrie animale, Paris: Desclée de Brouwer, 1964, pp. 1140 ; Vicedo, Marga, ‘The father of ethology and the foster mother of ducks: Konrad Lorenz as expert on motherhood’, Isis (2009) 100(2), pp. 263291 . Silverman, Chloe, ‘“Birdwatching and baby-watching”: Niko and Elisabeth Tinbergen's ethological approach to autism’, History of Psychiatry (2010) 21(2), pp. 176189 .

61 Ploog, Detlev, ‘Verhaltensforschung und Psychiatrie’, in Gruhle, H.W., Jung, R., Mayer-Gross, W. and Müller, M. (eds.), Psychiatrie der Gegenwart: Forschung und Praxis: Band I/1B: Grundlagenforschung zur Psychiatrie: Teil B, Berlin: Springer, 1964, pp. 291443 , 422.

62 Ploog, op. cit. (61), p. 395. See also Ploog, Detlev, ‘Experimentelle Verhaltensforschung’, Der Nervenarzt (1966) 37(10), pp. 443447 . See also contemporaneous debates in psychosomatic medicine, which entwined psyche and soma, individual and milieu.

63 Hedinger, H., ‘Über Bewegungs-Stereotypien bei gehaltenen Tieren’, Revue Suisse de zoologie (1934) 41(17), pp. 349356 , 355 f.

64 Among others see Frauchiger, E., Seelische Erkrankungen bei Mensch und Tier: Eine Grundlage für eine vergleichende Psychopathologie, Bern: Hans Huber, 1945 ; Brion and Ey, op. cit. (60); and contributions in M.W. Fox (ed.), Abnormal Behaviour in Animals, Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders, 1968. Michalon, Jérôme, ‘Soigner par le contact animalier: aux origines de la recherche sur les interactions humains/animaux à but thérapeutique’, Revue d'histoire des sciences humaines: Les sciences du psychisme et l'animal (2016) 28, pp. 137162 .

65 Burkhardt, Richard W., Patterns of Behavior: Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, and the Founding of Ethology, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2005 ; Milam, Erika Loraine, Looking for a Few Good Males: Female Choice in Evolutionary Biology, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010 ; Ramsden, Edmund and Wilson, Duncan, ‘The suicidal animal: science and the nature of self-destruction’, Past & Present (2014) 224(1), pp. 201242 .

66 Braitman, Laurel, Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014 ; Natterson-Horowitz, Barbara and Bowers, Kathryn, Zoobiquity: What Animals Teach Us about Health and the Science of Healing, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012 .

67 Araujo, F.P., Schwabe, C.W., Sawyer, J.C. and Davis, W.G., ‘Hydatid disease transmission in California: a study of the Basque connection’, American Journal of Epidemiology (1975) 102(4), pp. 291302 , 298; Sawyer, John C., Schantz, Peter M., Schwabe, Calvin W. and Newbold, Milton W., ‘Identification of transmission foci of hydatid disease in California’, Public Health Reports (1969) 84(6), pp. 531541 .

68 Araujo et al., op. cit. (67).

69 Calvin W. Schwabe (c.1992), ‘Hoofprints of Cheiron: pursuing a gathered life; Book One: Bugs, worms and all that’, manuscript, vol. 12, p. 359, US National Library of Medicine, Calvin Walter Schwabe Papers, MS C 490.

70 Cobgill, Charles L., ‘ Echinococcus cyst’, A.M.A. Archives of Surgery (1957) 75(2), pp. 267271 ; Sterman, M.M. and Brown, H.W., ‘ Echinococcus in man and dog in the same household in New York City’, JAMA (1959) 169(9), pp. 938940 ; Brooks, Thomas J., Webb, Watts R. and Heard, Kenneth M., ‘Hydatid disease: a summary of human cases in Mississippi’, A.M.A. Archives of Internal Medicine (1959) 104, pp. 562567 .

71 Schwabe, op. cit. (69).

72 Linnaeus, Carolus, Systema naturae per regna tria naturae: secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, 10th edn, Stockholm, Laurentius Salvius, 1758 .

73 See, for example, discussion of specialization and adaptation in parasites in Rogers, W.P., The Nature of Parasitism: The Relationship of Some Metazoan Parasites to their Hosts, London: Academic Press, 1962 , esp. Chapter 10, ‘The specificity of parasites’; Lapage, Geoffrey, Animals Parasitic in Man, rev. edn, New York: Dover Publications, 1963 , esp. Chapter 11, ‘Gain and loss for the parasite’; and Dogiel, V.A., General Parasitology, rev. enlarged edn, Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd, 1964 , esp. Chapter 22, ‘Host specificity and the problem of species in parasites’.

74 Parasitology in the twentieth century emerged from late nineteenth-century tropical medicine and helminthology, where it was as much rooted in the practices of zoology and natural history as in the medical goal of disease prevention. Farley, John, ‘Parasites and the germ theory of disease’, in Rosenberg, Charles and Golden, Janet Lynne (eds.), Framing Disease: Studies in Cultural History, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1992, pp. 3349 .

75 Schwabe, Calvin W., Schinazi, Lewis A. and Kilejian, Araxie, ‘Host–parasite relationships in Echinococcus: II. Age resistance to secondary Echinococcus in the white mouse’, American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (1959) 8, pp. 2936 .

76 Farhan, Ishak, Schwabe, Calvin W. and Zobel, C. Richard, ‘Host–parasite relationships in Echinococcus: III. Relation of environmental oxygen tension to the metabolism of hydatid scolices’, American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (1959) 8(4), pp. 473478 .

77 Benson, op. cit. (16), p. 5.

78 Schwabe, Calvin, Luttermoser, G.W., Koussa, M. and Ali, S.R., ‘Serial passage of fertile hydatid cysts of Echinococcus granulosus in absence of the definitive host’, Journal of Parasitology (1964) 50, p. 260 .

79 Jamie Lorimer examines coexistence between humans and their internal occupants through contemporary biomedical research on the human microbiome, characterizing the healthy human body as a ‘multispecies achievement’, host to a diverse population of bacteria, helminthic worms and more. Lorimer, Jamie, ‘Gut buddies: multispecies studies and the microbiome’, Environmental Humanities (2016) 8(1), pp. 5776 . This notion of deep ecological and evolutionary entanglement between humans and helminths has roots in early twentieth-century parasitology. See, for example, Darling, Samuel T., ‘The distribution of hookworms in the zoological regions’, Science (1921) 53(1371), pp. 323324 ; or Cameron, T.W.M., ‘Helminth parasites’, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine (1929) 22, pp. 827829 .

80 Schwabe, Calvin, ‘Host–parasite relationships in Echinococcus: I. Observations on the permeability of the hydatid cyst wall’, American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (1959), 8, pp. 2028 , 21.

81 Schwabe, Calvin W. and Daoud, Kamal Abou, ‘Epidemiology of Echinococcus in the Middle East, I. Human infection in Lebanon, 1949–1959’, American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (1961) 9, pp. 377379 , 377.

82 Miller, Carl W., Ruppaner, Roger and Schwabe, Calvin W., ‘Hydatid disease in California: study of hospital records, 1960–1969’, American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (1971) 20, pp. 904913 .

83 Sawyer et al., op. cit. (67).

84 Liu, Irwin K.M., Schwabe, Calvin W., Schantz, Peter M. and Allison, Malcolm N., ‘The occurrence of Echinococcus granulosus in coyotes (Canis latrans) in the Central Valley of California’, Journal of Parasitology (1970) 56, pp. 11351137 .

85 Muirhead, R.H., ‘Bovine tuberculosis in wild badgers in south Gloucestershire’, State Veterinary Journal (1972) 27, pp. 197205 , 198.

86 Atkins, Peter, Liquid Materialities: A History of Milk, Science and the Law, London: Ashgate, 2010 ; Waddington, Keir, ‘To stamp out “so terrible a malady”: bovine tuberculosis and tuberculin testing in Britain, 1890–1939’, Medical History (2004) 48, pp. 2948 .

87 For example, Macrae, W.D., ‘The eradication of bovine tuberculosis in Great Britain’, Tuberculosis in Animals: Symposia of the Zoological Society of London (1960) 4, pp. 8190 .

88 Richards, R.A., Watson, W.A, Boughton, E. and Meldrum, K., Inquiry into Tuberculosis in West Cornwall, London: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 1972 .

89 Muirhead, op. cit. (85).

90 B. Silcock, ‘Infected badgers face extermination’, Sunday Times, 23 April 1972, press clipping in National Archives MAF 145/21, Item 104; F. Butcher, ‘TB time-bomb under a county's dairy farmers’, Farmer's Weekly, 22 June 1973, press clipping in National Archives MAF 109/382, Item 89.

91 M.H. Sullivan, 21 February 1972, National Archives, UK (NA), Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Animal Health and Welfare, MAF 287/572, Item 30.

92 J.W. Blackwood, 27 August 1971, NA, Nature Conservancy Council, Conservation, FT 41/88.

93 Cassidy, Angela, ‘Vermin, victims and disease: UK framings of badgers in and beyond the bovine TB controversy’, Sociologia Ruralis (2012) 52, pp. 192214 .

94 Barkham, Patrick, Badgerlands: The Twilight World of Britain's Most Enigmatic Animal, London: Granta Books, 2014 .

95 Dr J.F.D. Frazer, 8 September 1971, NA, FT 41/88; Blackwood, op. cit. (92).

96 Steere-Williams, J., ‘Performing state medicine during its “frustrating” years: epidemiology and bacteriology at the local government board, 1870–1900’, Social History of Medicine (2014) 28, pp. 82107 .

97 Dr P.A. Gay, 23 March 1972, NA, FT 41/88; Registry, Extract from Unconfirmed Minutes of Scientific Policy Committee, Nature Conservancy, 11 July 1972, NA, FT 41/88.

98 See Grant, W., ‘Intractable policy failure: the case of bovine TB and badgers’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations (2009) 11, pp. 557573 – this ongoing disagreement over whether or not badgers were pests explains why PCD officers appeared defensive of the animals.

99 For example, E.J. Rickot, 5 November 1965, NA, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Control of Animal and Bird Pests Series, MAF 131/70, Item 112.

100 N.J. Manfield, 24 October 1972, NA, Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Gloucester Divisional Office, MAF 145/21, Item 146; ‘Bread and honey bait traps Cam's badgers’, Dursley Gazette, 4 November 1972, press clipping in National Archives MAF 109/382, Item 1.

101 J. Winfield, 14 March 1969, NA, MAF 145/21, Item 74.

102 W.E. Mason, 17 February 1972, NA, MAF 287/572, Item 40.

103 The combination of these logistical/financial pressures and the enthusiasm of publics was such that from 1976 onwards a formal ‘badger survey’ was instituted by MAFF, whereby found badger carcasses were tested for bTB and the data were recorded nationwide until 1997. Today such a project would undoubtedly be described as ‘citizen science’; see, for example, Shuttleworth, Sally, ‘Old weather: citizen scientists in the 19th and 21st centuries’, Science Museum Group Journal (2016) 3(3), accessed at doi:10.15180/150304 .

104 Muirhead, R.H., Gallagher, J. and Burn, K.J., ‘Tuberculosis in wild badgers in Gloucestershire: epidemiology’, Veterinary Record (1974) 95, pp. 552555 .

105 R.J. Clark, 18 July 1972, NA, MAF 145/21, Item 109.

106 Brown, A.C.L., Animal Health 1974: Report of the Chief Veterinary Officer, London: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 1974, pp. 4647 .

107 Badgers Act 1973, London: HM Stationary Office, p. 4.

108 ‘The agony of a badger’, Daily Mail, 29 January 1975, p. 10.

109 Brown, A.C.L., Animal Health 1975: Report of the Chief Veterinary Officer, London: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, 1975, pp. 1 , 14–15.

110 Bovine Tuberculosis in Badgers: A Report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, London: Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, November 1976.

The research that informed this article was supported by a Wellcome Trust-funded programme of research, ‘One medicine? Investigating human and animal disease’ (ref 092719/Z/10/A, 2011-16, PI: Woods), a Wellcome Medical Humanities Research Fellowship, ‘Managing bovine TB in the UK: a disease at the intersections of the human, owned and wild’ (ref 101540/A/13/Z, 2013-17, PI: Cassidy), and by the Gates Cambridge Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (PhD studentship: Schoefert). The authors would like to thank these funders for their generous support. We are very grateful to Dr Michael Bresalier for his input into the many discussions that led up to this article. Thanks are due also to two anonymous referees.

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