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Het platteland in de greep van mkz en stedeling

by Van der Ziel, Tjirk

News coverage of the disastrous 2001 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in the Netherlands brought live drama to every home in the country, and dominated the headlines for months on end. Vivid images on front pages and on television of dead cattle dangling from loaders caused repulsion among a broad segment of the Dutch population. This Foot-and-mouth disease, or FMD (its Dutch acronym is MKZ), prompted a battle of wills between politicians and farmers and their sympathizers that lasted for months. Agricultural policies were widely debated by numerous urbanites, who normally only visit rural areas for leisure. The author, who was raised near the IJssel Delta area that was devastated by the wholesale culling of nearly all livestock, traces the history of Dutch policies on contagious livestock diseases as far back as the 1600s. A rural sociologist and college lecturer, he provides the context in which these culling policies were carried out, why alternatives were not considered and the influence of urbanites (including environmental and naturalist movements) on agricultural policies and rural life. The author interviewed hundreds of people for this book. To analyze the FMD crisis, he researched numerous television programs and documentaries, trade magazines, newspaper columns, editorials and readers’ responses in the media. While the FMD occurred in a small but densely populated and tradition-rich region of the Netherlands, it could be educational for people in North America to see what could lie ahead if having to deal with similar future disease outbreaks here.

Paperback, 479 pages, Illustrated throughout with recent photographs and images from earlier centuries (paintings and drawings), notes, bibliography, plus an appendix on Dutch and EU policies on FMD, Dutch text plus brief English summary.

USD 29.95 / CAD 39.95

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