Orla Shortall

Orla Shortall
James Hutton Institute · Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences Group

PhD

About

32
Publications
5,100
Reads
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620
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - December 2014
University of Nottingham
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
September 2009 - September 2010
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • Ecological Economics
September 2004 - June 2009
Trinity College Dublin
Field of study
  • Philosophy and French

Publications

Publications (32)
Article
Full-text available
Ireland’s grass-based dairy system is relatively unique in industrialised countries in its focus on producing milk from grazed grass rather than increasing yields through non-forage feed. The environmental benefits of a grass-based dairy system have been promoted within Ireland and abroad. However, the means by which grass is produced is important....
Article
Full-text available
This study assesses the practices and views of Scottish dairy farmers relating to pasture-based and indoor systems. There are the debates about the environmental, economic and animal welfare implications of these systems. Indoor dairy farming is a contentious practice among the public. While this controversy is sometimes represented as a lack of pu...
Article
Full-text available
Grazing has become a less common dairy farming practice in most European countries. Ireland is an exception with its predominantly grass-based system. After the removal of European milk quotas, farmers were encouraged to expand within a grass-based paradigm rather than pursuing yield increases through feeding more concentrate. This research assesse...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Results of a social science project exploring Irish farmer perceptions of the low-cost grass-based system versus higher-feed-input systems. And the implications of the low-cost grass-based system for environmental sustainability, the viability of smaller farms and work life balance.
Research
Full-text available
Results of a social science project on the perceptions of UK dairy farmers and stakeholders on the role of grazing, feed inputs and year round housing in the UK dairy sector.
Article
Full-text available
Industry led schemes to eradicate the endemic cattle disease bovine viral diarrhoea involving government legislation represent a new type of biosecurity governance. This paper explores the governance of schemes to eradicate bovine viral diarrhoea in the UK and Ireland, using the concept of the institutional void. The institutional void describes th...
Article
This paper explores farmers’ responses to a cattle disease eradication scheme in Scotland by examining geographies of biopower and biosecurity citizenship. Biosecurity citizenship is a project to enact disease control for the good of a particular community. The paper uses the concept of biosecurity citizenship to explore how successful the scheme w...
Article
The role of grazing in dairy farming has become increasingly contentious. Dairy farming is still widely identified with imagery of cows grazing on grass, but grazing is a declining practice in Europe. The UK and Ireland make for interesting case studies to explore the politics of grazing as both countries are seen to have suitable conditions for su...
Article
Strategies for sustainable water resources management require integration of hydrological, ecological and socio-economic concerns. The “Water for all” project has sought to develop a multi-disciplinary science case for innovative management of water levels and flows in a lowland catchment in Scotland. Water demands of arable agriculture, protection...
Article
Greater production of agricultural biomass for energy generation means a greater overlap between the energy and agricultural value chains. The production of biofuels from food crops was previously criticised as conflicting with food production. Use of so-called 'marginal land' is proposed to overcome previous controversies. Using interviews and doc...
Article
Full-text available
It has been recognised that few cattle farmers undertake biosecurity practices on their farms. Approaches that take into consideration individuals’ preparedness for change, alongside beliefs thought to motivate the enactment of certain behaviours, may provide a framework for actuating tangible change. The aim of this study was to use a combination...
Article
Full-text available
The UK is the largest lamb meat producer in Europe. However, the low profitability of sheep farming sector suggests production efficiency could be improved. Although the use of technologies such as Electronic Identification (EID) tools could allow a better use of flock resources, anecdotal evidence suggests they are not widely used. The aim of this...
Data
Questionnaire used in this study. (PDF)
Data
Questionnaire responses. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
Responsibility for biosecurity in UK farming is being devolved from government to industry, with a greater emphasis on the veterinarian (vet)-farmer relationship. Although social science has shown that care for animals is part of ‘good farming', the British dairy sector sees a need to improve biosecurity. This research uses the good farmer concept...
Article
Full-text available
Biosecurity, defined as a series of measures aiming to stop disease-causing agents entering or leaving an area where farm animals are present, is very important for the continuing economic viability of the United Kingdom dairy sector, and for animal welfare. This study gathered expert opinion from farmers, veterinarians, consultants, academics, and...
Chapter
Full-text available
EMBARGOED: Bioenergy has been proposed as both a problem and a solution for land use conflicts arising at the nexus between food security and environmental conservation. But such assessments need to be considered in light of differences in the way people value the use of land and the facts that are considered or excluded in making such judgements....
Article
Full-text available
There is seen to be a need for better biosecurity − the control of disease spread on and off farm − in the dairy sector. Veterinarians play a key role in communicating and implementing biosecurity measures on farm, and little research has been carried out on how veterinarians see their own and farmers’ roles in improving biosecurity. In order to he...
Article
Full-text available
The farm animal veterinary profession in the UK has faced a number of challenges in recent decades related to the withdrawal of government funding and a contraction of the agricultural sector. They have come under pressure to respond by developing skills and focusing on disease prevention advisory services. However, this puts veterinarians in compe...
Article
Full-text available
Are plants the new oil? Responsible innovation, biorefining and multipurpose agriculture Bioenergy is seen as one of the options for industrialised countries to wean themselves off fossil fuels. However bioenergy, transport biofuels in particular, has faced considerable environmental and social controversies. Biorefining has been proposed in the U...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this project is to explore the social and ethical dimensions of the agricultural production of perennial energy crop and crop residues for energy. Biomass – any living or recently living matter – is being promoted in industrialised countries as part of the transition from fossil fuels to an economy based on renewable energy. Various chal...
Article
Full-text available
The paper clarifies the social and value dimensions for integrated sustainability assessments of lignocellulosic biofuels. We develop a responsible innovation approach, looking at technology impacts and implementation challenges, assumptions and value conflicts influencing how impacts are identified and assessed, and different visions for future de...
Article
Full-text available
This paper will consider the ethics of using agricultural land to produce biomass for energy. The use of biomass for heat, electricity and transport energy is widely cited as having a role to play in sustainable development by helping to replace finite, polluting fossil fuels with renewable, carbon neutral biomass. Biomass energy has faced much con...
Article
Full-text available
Increasingly, ethical concerns are being raised regarding bioenergy production. However, the ethical issues often do not stand out very clearly. The aim of the present paper is to improve on this situation by analyzing the bioenergy discussion from the perspective of land use. From this perspective, bioenergy production may give rise to ethical pro...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Rethinking Of Antimicrobial Decision-systems in the Management of Animal Production ROADMAP will foster transitions towards prudent antimicrobial use (AMU) in animal production in a large variety of contexts, by favouring a rethinking of antimicrobial decision-systems all along the food supply chain. Even if it is possible to learn from successful experiences, there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to reduce AMU but various strategies working according to local conditions, defined by social, economic, technical and institutional variables. ROADMAP will develop innovative conceptual approaches within a transdisciplinary and multi-actor perspective to engage with animal health professionals, stakeholders and policy-makers. It will adapt, combine and produce tailored strategies to reduce AMU in diverse production systems in Europe and low- and middle-income countries (pig, poultry, cattle and fish sectors). Main objectives of ROADMAP are 1) to understand why and how AMU varies according to local contexts, by studying knowledge, practice and behaviours of farmers, veterinarians and upstream and downstream industries of the food supply chain; 2) to develop innovative socioeconomic and technical instruments to foster prudent AMU adapted to various production systems, by co-designing integrative strategies with animal health professionals and stakeholders; 3) to evaluate ROADMAP solutions and ensure their impact. Innovative communication, dissemination and exploitation tools will be implemented to reach a large community of end-users. ROADMAP will identify levers and incentives to encourage AMU change, by providing 1) scenarios and recommendations for efficient transitions towards prudent AMU and 2) solutions socially acceptable but also technically and economically feasible. ROADMAP will therefore contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance by allowing cross-learning from diverse successful experiences, encouraging a harmonization of AMU reduction trends across Europe and thus favouring a global decrease of AMU in animal production.
Project
This is a 3 year postdoctoral research fellowship funded by the British Academy exploring values and visions of indoor and pasture based dairy systems in the UK and Ireland. The project invovles quantative and qualitative research with farmers, key stakeholders and the public to explore their views on the future of dairy farming. www.docowseatgrass.org