Article

The impact of wolves on psychological distress among farmers in Norway

Authors:
  • Ruralis - Institute for Rural and Regional Research
  • Ruralis - Institute for Rural and Regional Research
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

The reappearance of large carnivores in Europe can be viewed as a conservation success, however, the increase in carnivore numbers has also resulted in an increase in livestock predation. While multiple studies have been conducted into farmers’ attitudes to large carnivores, the consequence of predation on farmers’ mental health and wellbeing is under-researched. Using a mixed-method approach, this study examines the potential regional impact of the presence of wolves on farmers’ psychological distress in Norway. Data from the nationally representative Trends in Norwegian Agriculture Survey was analysed using a multiple regression analysis. Psychological distress was measured using a 5 item Hopkins Symptom Checklist. Comparison with register data of livestock losses showed that sheep farmers living in regions where sheep have been killed by wolves within the last 5 years have higher psychological distress scores than (a) sheep farmers elsewhere in Norway, and (b) farmers in the same region without sheep. What makes our study different from others is that the Trends survey was not targeted at the wolf issue directly, meaning that accusations of farmer bias against wolves when responding to surveys cannot explain our results. We support this conclusion by exploring (and, ultimately, dismissing) alternative explanations and through 20 qualitative interviews with sheep farmers in a predation region (regional county of Hedmark) to investigate how carnivore presence is experienced. Stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation, and reduced quality of life were reported as key consequences of the carnivore pressure. The findings suggest that farmers do not need to experience animal deaths and injuries personally to experience the distress of predation. Living nearby and assisting farmer colleagues make this a shared condition.

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... In Scandinavia, the growing wolf population is recurrently pointed out as a source of stress to sheep owners by the farming associations (LRF [The Federation of Swedish Farmers], 2013). Zahl-Tanem et al. (2020) investigated stress among Norwegian sheep owners in relation to wolf areas and wolf attacks. In this particular case, stress levels were impacted by the farmers' attachment to their livestock, their lack of control in reducing their own stress after predation events (combined with a lack of trust in the authorities), and their perceived need to make changes to their everyday lives in order to handle the ambient pressures caused by the presence of wolves. ...
... Sheep owners who lived in areas where sheep had been lost to wolves during the past 5 years scored significantly higher on psychological stress than did farmers without sheep production in these areas, as well as sheep owners elsewhere in Norway (Zahl-Tanem et al., 2020). Sheep owners who had experienced wolf attacks, also reported in follow-up interviews that they had experienced sleeplessness, guilt, and a constant state of anxiety. ...
... Such stressors are, for example, filling out government forms, bad weather, adjusting to new government regulations and policies (McGregor et al., 1995), concerns about the future of the farm, outsiders not understanding the nature of farming (Kearney et al., 2014), and these stressors have been shown to negatively affect psychological wellbeing among farmers (Yazd et al., 2019). This means that if a sheep owner is already concerned about the financial situation and heavy workload, regardless of the risk of an attack, the mere presence of wolves in the surrounding landscape could exponentially increase the amount of stress the sheep owner experiences (Zahl-Tanem et al., 2020). The cumulative effect of the various stressors must therefore be considered in order to fully understand farmers' stress responses to the presence of wolves. ...
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Article
Farmers who keep livestock in large carnivore areas are exposed to threat of predation directly impacting on finances and workload as well as the associated psychological stress indirectly impacting on farmers well-being. So far, little is known about such stress responses. The concept of “stress” or “stress reaction” is often used as an undifferentiated umbrella concept for the experience of negative emotional episodes. However, the stress reactions could be divided into cognitive, physiological, and behavioural aspects. This study aimed to develop and apply a theory-based approach to identify stress responses among sheep farmers in the Swedish “wolf-region.” A thematic analysis of interviews conducted with sheep farmers showed ample support for stress responses among the informants in relation to large carnivores and their management, although the interviews were conducted with a different focal topic. The findings support the idea that stress responses could be categorised into cognitive, physiological, and behavioural aspects. This distinction would help to identify and fully understand the cumulative impact of stress from the presence of large carnivores on farmers’ well-being.
... However, they do not guarantee the long-term continuation of (traditional) pasture-based livestock/reindeer husbandry practices under continued large carnivore presence as they are ineffective in preventing, for example in the case of reindeer husbandry, herd collapse (Åhman et al., 2014) and do not address the long-term structural change in the socio-ecological system where herders/farmers report e.g. anger, frustration, and anxiety caused by factors including distrust in authorities, lifestyle changes, concern for and emotional attachment to livestock, and the feeling to produce food for carnivores rather than for human consumption (Zahl-Thanem et al., 2020). The Norwegian zoning system, which attempts to spatially separate large carnivores from livestock over the long-term tends to neglect the socio-ecological dynamics, with the effect that the majority of sheep killings are concentrated in the boundary areas right outside the carnivore zones . ...
... Subsidies for preventive measures applied to sheep farming or other domesticated livestock (reindeer husbandry not included) might be more effective in the long-term due to the potential to help to prevent damage altogether. However, in the case countries studied here, most of the subsidy instruments are limited in terms of available resources or implemented on a project basis and the take-up for implementing preventive measures is often poor (Zahl-Thanem et al., 2020). Furthermore, a recent study by Eklund (2019) shows limited scientific evidence of the effectiveness of most measures. ...
... The focus on economic instruments disregards the fact that human-carnivore conflicts often transcend material and income issues. Cultural factors and the potentially serious social and psychological impacts of carnivore presence to local communities and individual farmers Salvatori et al., 2020;Zahl-Thanem et al., 2020) are not considered within the current instrument mixes. ...
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Article
Policy mixes (i.e. the total structure of policy processes, strategies, and instruments) are complex constructs that can quickly become incoherent, inconsistent, and incomprehensive. This is amplified when the policy mix strives to meet multiple objectives simultaneously, such as in the case of large carnivore policy mixes. Building on Rogge and Reichardt's analytical framework for the analysis of policy mixes, we compare the policy mixes of Norway, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany (specifically Saxony and Bavaria), and Spain (specifically Castilla y León). The study shows that the large carnivore policy mixes in the case countries show signs of lacking vertical and horizontal coherence in the design of policy processes, weak consistency between objectives and designated policy instruments, and, as a consequence, lacking comprehensiveness. We conclude that creating consistent, coherent, and comprehensive policy mixes that build on multiple objectives requires stepping away from sectorized policy development, toward a holistic, systemic approach, strong collaborative structures across policy boundaries and regions, the inclusion of diverse stakeholders, and constant care and attention to address all objectives simultaneously rather than in isolation.
... 4 While some rewilding interventions pose only low or indirect risks (e.g., passive regeneration of native grassland can bring increased fire risk of shrub encroachment), approaches such as carnivore reintroduction or recolonization pose higher perceived and immediate risks to local livelihoods and can even provoke psychological distress among pastoralists. 5 Conservation's relationship with these social risks and the role of rural peoples has evolved. Rural people were widely treated as a ''problem'' during much of the 20 th century (Table 1). ...
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The importance of conservation is matched by its potential to provoke contention, especially for rewilding. Treating rural peoples as biodiversity “problems” has given way to viewing them as “solutions,” but most needed is a turn toward biodiversity democracy, resolving conservation conflicts and balancing rural-urban interests despite knowledge and value disagreements.
... A Norwegian research project ("Local Carnivore") addressed challenges with carnivores for sheep farmers of larger sizes. Farmers reported psychological strain connected to high losses and finding dead and injured animals in the field (Zahl-Thanem et al., 2020). In common with the farmers located inside the zones within the Hedmark sample, outfield grazing was declining. ...
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Increasing production to meet the growing demand for food whilst conserving biodiversity and reducing pressure on natural ecosystems is a dual planetary challenge of the highest order. The world’s small farmers are at the forefront of this challenge, being asked to make greater contributions to both enhancing food and nutrition security, and to the stewardship of natural assets. We focus on rewilding involving the conservation, management, and reintroduction of species, and how the praxis impacts small farmers in Europe, simultaneously being encouraged to increase food production. We present empirical data from four European case studies featuring Norwegian wolves, Scottish Sea Eagles, and wild boar in both Spain and Italy. We adopt Beck’s World Risk Society concept to situate what small farmers report as trade-offs, within a broader sociological schema, to show underlying features of a new landscape.
... In recent years, wildlife management plans in Sweden and elsewhere have acknowledged people's fear of large carnivores to overcome impact and social conflicts. Psycho-social stress caused by certain species has also been referred to lately (Nordström, 2010;Zahl-Thanem et al., 2020). We think that additional psychological perspectives could enlighten the current debate on wildlife and wildlife management. ...
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Article
Many call for a broad approach to valuation of nature’s contribution to people, one that provides a contextualized understanding of what may be experienced as a value in different cultures, groups and settings. In the present paper we address contributions of nature to psychological well-being as realized through restorative processes during encounters with wildlife. Although restorative benefits of nature experience have received much consideration, sparse attention has been given to the role of the presence or absence of different animals in the settings investigated. The presence of a liked species may increase appreciation for and engagement with a natural setting, but fear of encountering some species may counter the desire to visit a setting with otherwise high restorative quality. This paper proposes a psychological framework for understanding how wildlife may contribute to or hinder people’s opportunities to restore in local natural settings. The framework addresses the transaction between the individual and their surroundings, making use of an appraisal theory of emotion and theories about the restorative benefits of nature experience. We focus upon encounters in landscapes shared by humans and wildlife, and we elaborate on our reasoning with scenarios from Sweden involving local people’s appraisal of wolves and roe deer. An integrated understanding of the psychological processes at work would facilitate communication and decision-making about the contribution of wildlife in nature conservation and management.
... Le tribut payé par le bétail et les éleveurs est déjà considérable, mais ce n'est qu'une partie de l'histoire. Le reste est profondément inscrit dans le vécu physique et émotionnel des éleveurs, des bergers et des communautés locales (Dumez et al. 2017, Zahl-Thanem et al. 2020. ...
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Preprint
Afin d’éviter toute circulation de traductions automatisées vers le français (Google translate, etc), pouvant ensuite donner lieu à de mauvaises interprétations, Laurent Garde, Olivier Bonnet et moi, proposons ce document de travail, version traduite en français de notre article collectif en anglais publié par The Rangeland Journal : “Missing shots: has the possibility of shooting wolves been lacking for 20 years in France's livestock protection measures?” (DOI: 10.1071/RJ20046) == Il est important de noter que SEULE la publication d’origine en ANGLAIS FAIT FOI et peut être citée == Les loups ont été éradiqués en France à la fin du XIXe et au début du XXe siècle. Les éleveurs et les bergers n'étaient donc pas préparés à leur arrivée d'Italie en 1993, l'année suivant celle où la France s’est engagée auprès de l'Union Européenne à protéger l'espèce. Aujourd'hui, environ 580 loups, dont les effectifs augmentent exponentiellement, sont présents sur plus d'un tiers du territoire français. Au cours des dix dernières années, les pertes en bétail dues aux loups ont connu une croissance linéaire, passant de 3 215 en 2009 à 12 451 en 2019, malgré la mise en place depuis 2004 de mesures conséquentes de protection, notamment une présence humaine renforcée, des chiens de protection, des clôtures sécurisées et des parcs de nuit électrifiés. L'échec de la prévention des dommages est patent. Intelligents et opportunistes, les loups investissent des paysages en mosaïque où les animaux d’élevage au pâturage sont des proies abondantes et faciles. Strictement protégés, il semble qu'ils n'associent plus le bétail aux humains et les humains au danger. La moitié de leurs attaques réussies se produisent désormais en journée, malgré la présence de chiens et d'humains. Compte tenu des coûts élevés d'une protection insatisfaisante, la France a récemment modifié sa politique de gestion des loups. En plus des moyens de protection non létaux, les éleveurs ayant subi plusieurs attaques sont désormais autorisés, par dérogation prévue par la loi, à procéder aussi à des tirs de défense. Sur la base d’expériences issues d'autres pays, nous suggérons de rétablir une relation de réciprocité avec les loups. Les éleveurs et les bergers devraient être autorisés à défendre leurs troupeaux avec des tirs sans avoir à attendre que se soient déjà déroulées plusieurs attaques. Le tir de défense permettrait aussi d'améliorer l'efficacité des moyens de protection non létaux, en tant que signaux d'alerte à respecter par les loups. Plutôt qu'une coexistence passive, nous avons à considérer un processus dynamique et en constante évolution de coadaptation entre les humains et les loups, en nous appuyant sur les capacités d'adaptation de tous.
... The toll on livestock and farmers is already substantial, but that is only part of the story. The remainder is embedded in the physical and emotional fabric of livestock breeders, herders, and local communities (Dumez et al. 2017;Zahl-Thanem et al. 2020). ...
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Article
Wolves were exterminated in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Therefore, livestock breeders and herders were unprepared when wolves arrived from Italy in 1993, the year after France committed to the European Union (EU) to protect wolves. Today, about 580 wolves, whose numbers are growing exponentially, are present in over one third of France. During the last 10 years, livestock deaths from wolves have grown linearly from 3215 in 2009 to 12 451 in 2019, despite France implementing extensive damage protection measures since 2004, including reinforced human presence, livestock guard dogs, secured pasture fencing and electrified night pens. The failure to prevent damage is clear. Wolves enter mosaic landscapes where grazing livestock are abundant and easy prey. Wolves are intelligent and opportunistic. As a strictly protected species, it seems they no longer associate livestock with humans and humans with danger. Half of the successful attacks now occur during the day, notwithstanding the presence of dogs and humans. Considering the high costs of unsatisfactory protection, France recently modified its wolf management policy. In addition to non-lethal means of protection, breeders that have suffered several attacks by wolves are now permitted, by derogation based upon evidence from other countries, we suggest re-establishing a reciprocal relationship with wolves. Breeders and herders should be allowed to shoot wolves to defend their herds against wolf attacks, not after several successful predation events. Defence shooting would also upgrade the efficiency of non-lethal means, as warning signals for wolves to respect. Rather than passive coexistence, we need to embrace a dynamic and everevolving process of coadaptation between humans and wolves, relying on the adaptive capacities of both.
... Sheep farmers in areas with large carnivores experience economic loss, psychological stress, and perceived alienation from political processes (Zahl-Thanem et al., 2020), possibly resulting in decisions that differ from those made by farmers in areas without large carnivores. But the reintroduction of carnivores also coincides with an ongoing social change process characterized by urbanization and centralization (Langørgen, 2007). ...
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Article
Sheep farmers in areas with large carnivores experience economic loss, psychological stress, and perceived alienation from political processes. This can result in decisions that differ from those made by farmers in areas without large carnivores, possibly influencing the whole farming system. We used applications for farming subsidies to examine changes in sheep farming in Norway 1999 to 2017. Along the urban-rural dimension, we found a stronger decline in increasingly rural areas. The decline was furthermore larger inside regions used for the reintroduction of large carnivores than outside these regions. The observed decline in some regions was compensated by growth in central regions, outside carnivore prone areas, and on managed land where the sheep was protected from carnivores. The result complements studies of mental dispositions and decision processes aiming to explain how large carnivores and the carnivore management policy influence the farmers' attitudes and decisions, resulting in behaviors that effect larger social systems. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10871209.2020.1818895
... Selv om tapstall de siste årene har gått noe tilbake, har konfliktnivået fortsatt vaert høyt og konsekvensene av rovdyr for beitenaeringen er fortsatt store. For eksempel fant Zahl-Thanem et al. (2020) at sauebønder som bor i kommuner med tap av sau til ulv har høyere grad av psykiske plager enn øvrige bønder ellers i landet, og høyere grad av psykiske plager enn bønder i samme område med andre produksjoner. ...
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Utmarka representerer en verdifull fôrressurs for husdyrbruket og matproduksjonen både i Norge og i Sverige. I tillegg ivaretar utmarksbeitingen både lokal tradisjonskunnskap og den biologiske og fysiske kulturarven. Landbruksmyndighetene gir derfor støtte til utmarksbeite og seterbruk. Til tross for støtteordninger, møter mange av bøndene som utnytter utmarksbeiter en rekke utfordringer. Flere slike utfordringer er synliggjort i sammenheng med det pågående Interreg-prosjektet " Utmarksbeite-en biologisk kulturarv som ressurs for ei baerekraftig framtid " der gårdbrukere som driver seterbruk og/eller utmarksbeiting i Norge og Sverige har truffet hverandre og diskutert ulike problemstillinger. Økonomien i denne typen produksjoner er et felles problem på begge sider av grensen. For Sverige trekker ellers brukerne fram rovdyrproblematikken som en av de største utfordringene i forhold til dagens og framtidas utnyttelse av utmarksbeiteressursene. I de norske studieområdene i Nord-og Sør-Trøndelag er problemstillinger knyttet til gjerdehold og nyere driftsformer det som ellers representerer de største utfordringene i dag. Tradisjonelt husdyrhold og seterbruk i Norge og Sverige Landbruket i Norge og i Sverige har tradisjonelt sett vaert basert på husdyrhold og på høsting av fôrressursene i utmarka til vinterfôr og sommerbeite. Utnyttelsen av utmarksbeitene har periodevis vaert meget omfattende og det har eksistert flere ulike beite-og seterbrukssystemer side om side (Larsson 2009). Seterbruket (svensk: fäbodbruket) har en lang historie, og setrer er omtalt allerede i den norske Gulatingsloven (basert på sedvaner og nedskrevet på 1000-tallet). I Sverige finnes det skriftlige fortellinger om setrer (fäbodar) i Dalarna og Uppland fra 1300-tallet (Reinton 1969). I Norge har seterdrift vaert vanlig over hele landet og driftsformene har vaert svaert varierte. Reinton (1955, 1969) skilte mellom melkeseterbruk, fullseterbruk og slåtteseterbruk, men overgangstyper mellom disse var også vanlige. Melkeseterbruk (svensk: halvfäbodar) var først og fremst ei vestnorsk og nordnorsk seterbruksform, knyttet til kyststrøkene med korte avstander mellom seter og gård. Melka var hovedproduktet, og ble transportert hjem til gården og bearbeidet der. Ved fullseterbruk (svensk: fäbodar) ble melka bearbeidet til mer holdbare melkeprodukter (rømme, ost, smør), og budeia, gjetere og andre som hjalp til med arbeidet bodde på setra hele sesongen. Fullseterbruket var vanlig over hele landet, men mest vanlig var driftsformen i fjellområdene i innlandet. Disse beitesystemene lignet i mange tilfeller på dem man har og har hatt i Alpene (Emanuelsson 2009). Områdene ved og omkring tregrensa fungerer i disse systemene som sommerbeiter, mens man om vinteren flytter buskapen ned til de permanente gårdene i dalen. Man hadde vanligvis også ofte flere setrer som var plassert på forskjellige avstander fra gården og på ulike høydenivåer. Dette gjorde det mulig å utnytte friske beiteressurser etter hvert som graset utviklet seg etter snøsmeltingen i fjellet.
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Large carnivore populations are recovering in many parts of the world and this generates conflicts with humans, notably in terms of livestock depredation. Governmental programs of mitigation measures and compensation for losses are often implemented to reduce conflicts, but the factors affecting losses are poorly understood. We used 11 years of data on domestic sheep (Ovis aries) claimed, and confirmed, to have been killed by predators in Norway to evaluate how predator density, flock management, and other environmental or habitat-related variables are related to losses. The percentage of animals claimed as lost that was found and confirmed to have been killed by large predators (i.e., the detection rate) was low, especially for sheep claimed as killed by Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), wolverine (Gulo gulo) and golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). Still, we generally found that similar factors predicted the number of claims and number of carcasses found across predator species. Predator density was strongly associated with losses, especially for sheep claimed as killed by brown bears (Ursus arctos), lynx and wolverines. Percentage of forest in the pastures, average slaughter weight of the lambs (an indicator of the forage conditions during summer) and vegetation characteristics in the spring also predicted the number of sheep claimed and found killed by lynx, wolverines and eagles. Factors related to losses due to wolves (Canis lupus) were harder to ascertain, possibly because of the severity of mitigation measures (e.g., electric fences) taken to protect sheep in wolf territories, a factor we were not able to include in our large scale analyses. Patrolling of the grazing area and early gathering of sheep in the autumn were not associated with a substantial reduction in losses. However, our dataset was not well suited to evaluate the efficiency of those mitigation strategies. Our findings could help develop new mitigation strategies as alternatives to predator removal where large carnivore conservation is a concern.
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Numerous studies report majorities of survey respondents hold positive attitudes toward wolves. However, a 2001–2009 panel study found declining tolerance of wolves among residents of Wisconsin’s wolf range. Poaching, believed to be increasing, has been an important source of mortality in Wisconsin’s wolf population since the 1980s. We conducted focus groups, with an accompanying anonymous questionnaire survey of participants, among farmers and hunters in Wisconsin’s wolf range to gain a more in-depth understanding of attitudes towards wolves and inclinations to poach wolves. Whereas our study was originally designed to examine the effects of an experimental lethal-control program on inclination to poach, oscillating wolf-management authority shifted our focus from a single intervention to a suite of changes in policy and management. Following federal delisting of the Western Great Lakes wolf population in January 2012, Wisconsin implemented lethal-depredation control and created the state’s first legalized wolf-harvest season in October 2012. We convened focus groups before and after these changes. Pre- and post-survey results showed majorities of respondents held negative attitudes toward wolves with no decrease in inclination to poach, suggesting lethal-control measures, in the short term, may be ineffective for increasing tolerance. Participants expressed favorable attitudes toward lethal-control measures, but believed there were limitations in the implementation of the lethal-control measures. Focus group discussions revealed elements of positivity toward wolves not revealed by questionnaires, as well as several thematic areas, such as fear, empowerment, and trust, that may inform the development of interventions designed to increase tolerance of wolves and other controversial species.
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Because of the damage they cause, wolves and wild boar are exasperating for farmers. The perception that farmers have of the increased presence of these animals is different from that of their supporters, whether naturalists or hunters. By comparing the productive and recreational logics associated with these animals we can gain insights into these different perceptions and discover the processes that bring various actors into conflict through these two animals. At the heart of the issue for farmers is their loss of social legitimacy, the decline in their spatial influence and the feeling of domination by leisure activities.
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The objectives of this study were to: (a) determine the acceptability of several methods of lethal and non-lethal wolf control, (b) identify factors that explain acceptability of lethal control, and (c) test a model for predicting acceptability of lethal control. Data were obtained from a mail survey of Utah residents (n = 709). Non-lethal forms of control were more acceptable than lethal forms control. Acceptability of lethal controls varied among stakeholder groups. No such variation existed for non-lethal methods, suggesting these methods are less controversial. Stakeholder group identification (i.e., agricultural, environmental, hunting, wildlife advocacy) impacted acceptability of lethal control. These effects, however, were reduced when beliefs about wolf impacts and attitude toward wolves were controlled. These two factors explained 42% of the variance in the acceptability of lethal wolf control. Path analysis supported the proposed model, suggesting effects of stakeholder identification on acceptability of lethal control are mediated by cognitive factors.
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The relationship between humans and wolves is often associated with conflicts strongly linked with livestock breeding activities. However, as conflicts are often more intense than expected considering the magnitude of their economic impact, some authors have suggested that these conflicts are disconnected from reality and are mainly due to persistence of negative perceptions from previous times. To the contrary, we suggest that local people’s perceptions are often linked to wolf behaviour through direct observations and interactions. We conducted ethnological investigations on human-wolf relationships in countries belonging to former USSR (Kyrgyzstan) and former Yugoslavia (Republic of Macedonia), subjected to rapid social changes impacting both livestock husbandry and hunting practices. Our studies revealed that changes in hunting and husbandry practices have led to modifications in the socio-environmental context and to the nature of wolf-human interactions. These changes have resulted in an increased vulnerability of local people to wolf damage and a concomitant reduced acceptance for wolves. All these changes contribute to changes in the perception of the wolf and to an increase in the perception of conflicts, even in countries where humans and wolves have continuously coexisted. Our study shows the dynamic nature of human-wolf relationships, the necessity to understand the broader socio-economical context in human-wildlife conflicts, and the challenge pastoralists are facing in a changing world.
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This article analyzes people’s subjectively experienced fear in areas with presence of brown bear or wolf. Departing from the Human-Environment Interaction Model (Küller, 1991), a hypothetical model of environmental and individual antecedents of fear was tested using structural equation modeling of survey data (n = 391). In the model of fear of brown bear, the main predictor was the appraisal of the species as dangerous/uncontrollable and unpredictable. In the model of fear of wolf, the greater experience with the species and a stronger appraisal of wolf as dangerous, uncontrollable, and unpredictable led to low social trust and this, together with the appraisal of wolf as dangerous/uncontrollable and unpredictable, increased the likelihood of fear. Efforts to reduce human fear of wolves should focus on building trust between the public and authorities, whereas efforts to educe fear of brown bear should focus on the individual’s appraisal of the species.
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Through a focus on agricultural retirement, this paper extends on the recent work considering human–livestock relations. Drawing on research conducted in Hampshire and West Sussex (UK), the paper utilises farmers’ narratives of farm work and retirement to explore the themes of [dis]connection between farmers and their dairy cattle. The paper attempts to add complexity and nuance to assumptions about the nature and extent of animal objectification with commercial dairy farming, and consider the intricate moral geographies [re]created within the individual farm. The discursive and material ‘placings’ of animals are considered alongside an exploration of how the intricate temporality and spatiality of these are disturbed and disrupted by the move to retirement. In discussing these relations the paper examines how animals are central to the everyday lives and identities of farmers and how separation from them alters farmers’ attachment to particular practices, places and social networks.Research highlights► Geographies of ageing and retirement should also incorporate the linked lives of animals. ► socio-affective relationships between farmers and livestock do exist within commercial dairying. ► Separation from animals and farming communities presents an identity challenge in retirement.
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Following the recolonisation of southern Scandinavia by wolves, the public has expressed high levels of fear of wolves. In response, we have reviewed the existing data on wolf attacks on humans from Fennoscandia during the last 300 years. We were able to find records of people being killed by wolves from all three countries: one from Norway, 16 from Sweden, and 77 from Finland. All cases were prior to 1882. The vast majority of victims were children under the age of 12. All the attacks were predatory in nature, as opposed to those done by rabid wolves. The incidents tended to cluster in space and time indicating that only certain wolves developed the habit of killing people. Implications for the present day management are discussed.
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The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that distance is an important factor affecting attitudes towards wolves, i.e. people living far from wolf territories have more positive attitudes towards wolf conservation than those living within or close to wolf territories. We used multiple regression (an ordered probit model) with both socio-economic variables and information about the respondents’ distance to the nearest wolf territory. We found that favourable attitudes towards wolf conservation were positively associated with distance to the nearest wolf territory. The variable distance to the nearest wolf territory affected attitudes just as much as the variables of membership of nature conservation organisations, being a hunter, owning livestock, or owning a hunting dog. This was true even on the micro-level, i.e. people living in wolf territories had a more negative attitude towards conservation of wolves than people living just outside. Furthermore, we suggest that attitudes towards wolves are more likely a result of indirect experience than direct experience of wolf presence. Our findings are important when interpreting studies of human attitudes towards conservation of controversial species in general and large carnivores in particular, and should be used when designing future surveys of human attitudes towards conservation and management initiatives.
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Many agricultural researchers are now turning away from the traditional postal surveys to email surveys of farmers – an option that is increasingly viable as digitalisation continues to permeate rural areas. However, email surveys often result in considerably lower response rates. This raises questions about the potential of email surveys to experience non-response bias, where the survey methodology excludes particular sectors of the general population and thus results in responses that do not represent the wider population. In this paper we address the issue of whether agricultural researchers should move from postal surveys to email surveys by comparing the results of two applications of the Norwegian national Trends survey – one to 3000 farmers via email and one to 3000 farmers via standard mail. The postal survey achieved a response rate of 41.1% – almost double that of the email survey at 21.4%. However, analysis of the returns suggested this had not led to greater non-response bias in the email survey. While respondents to the email survey were younger, better educated and more likely to be part-time farmers, comparing the entire survey revealed very few significant differences between the two samples. Where the difference was significant (in particular, attitudes towards technology), the scalar difference was so small that using different survey methods would not have led to different conclusions. Although there was no evidence that the low response rate compromised the email survey, we conclude that postal surveys may still be preferable because (a) there is less scope for non-response bias, and (b) having to double the gross survey size to achieve a sufficient sample size may create additional survey fatigue in the long term. We discuss the applicability of the findings to farm surveys in other countries.
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Provides graduate students in the social sciences with the basic skills they need to estimate, interpret, present, and publish basic regression models using contemporary standards. Key features of the book include: • interweaving the teaching of statistical concepts with examples developed for the course from publicly-available social science data or drawn from the literature. • thorough integration of teaching statistical theory with teaching data processing and analysis. • teaching of Stata and use of chapter exercises in which students practice programming and interpretation on the same data set. A separate set of exercises allows students to select a data set to apply the concepts learned in each chapter to a research question of interest to them, all updated for this edition.
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The ranges of wolves (Canis lupus) and bears (Ursus arctos) across Europe have expanded recently, and it is important to assess public attitudes toward this expansion because responses toward these species vary widely. General attitudes toward an object are good predictors of broad behavioral patterns; thus, attitudes toward wolves and bears can be used as indicators to assess the social foundation for future conservation efforts. However, most attitude surveys toward bears and wolves are limited in scope, both temporally and spatially, and provide only a snapshot of attitudes. To extend the results of individual surveys over a much larger temporal and geographical range so as to identify transnational patterns and changes in attitudes toward bears and wolves over time, we conducted a meta-analysis. Our analysis included 105 quantitative surveys conducted in 24 countries from 1976 to 2012. Across Europe, people's attitudes were more positive toward bears than wolves. Attitudes toward bears became more positive over time, but attitudes toward wolves seemed to become less favorable the longer people coexisted with them. Younger and more educated people had more positive attitudes toward wolves and bears than people who had experienced damage from these species, and farmers and hunters had less positive attitudes toward wolves than the general public. For bears attitudes among social groups did not differ. To inform conservation of large carnivores, we recommend that standardized longitudinal surveys be established to monitor changes in attitudes over time relative to carnivore population development. Our results emphasize the need for interdisciplinary research in this field and more advanced explanatory models capable of capturing individual and societal responses to changes in large carnivore policy and management.
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European agriculture is experiencing a recruitment crisis that threatens the continuation of both family farming and associated rural communities. Conventionally, researchers and policymakers see farm succession as driven by discrete factors such as education level, farm size, profitability, enterprise type, and so on. This article offers an alternative perspective. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 22 farm families in Scotland, it uses a single case-study to outline the concept of endogenous succession cycles based on the iterative and interlinked development of successor identity and farm structure. In this way, succession is seen as predominantly socially constructed. We suggest that the key to succession lies in the development and maintenance of these endogenous cycles as, when they are broken or uninitiated, attracting a successor on to the farm is likely to be exceptionally difficult whatever the policy incentive. We conclude that the current crisis can partly be explained by the breakdown of early childhood socialisation, a key stage of the cycle, caused by changes to agriculture such as the use of larger machinery, more health and safety regulations, fewer farm workers, and so on. As a result, the process of constructing successor identities in early childhood through extended contact between the farmer, the child and the farm is becoming increasingly difficult.
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A variety of prominent objectivist and positivist philosophical standpoints frequently attempt to ignore the extraordinary set of strengths and potentiality that qualitative data analysis (QDA) has in the social science research arena. Specifically, the notion that QDA involves non-scientific style of data collection and data analysis which comprises with coding, sorting and sifting of qualitative data, is frequently referred by many quantitative researchers to challenge or weaken the robustness and reliability of qualitative research. This paper aims to address this debate by scrutinising the nature and quality of the methods of qualitative research. By highlighting the philosophical stance of QDA, this paper tackles the criticisms of qualitative research, and also critically evaluates different approaches and perspectives of QDA. The paper finally goes on to justify that, QDA with its significantly broader attributes and extensive research capacity, in fact, involves more than the coding, sorting and sifting of qualitative data.
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The natural recolonization of gray wolves (Canis lupus) into parts of their former range in the upper Midwest of the United States has led to wolves establishing territories in semi-agricultural areas containing livestock. As part of a study on wolf-livestock relationships in a northwestern Minnesota agricultural area, we surveyed rural landowners within and outside of wolf range to assess perceptions regarding the risks wolves pose to livestock (mainly cattle). The mean response score for rural landowners to the statement "I think wolves should be allowed to exist in northwest Minnesota" was between neutral and disagree. There was no difference in mean response scores between rural residents living within wolf range and residents living adjacent to but outside of wolf range. The rural residents' mean response score to the statement "Wolves are causing unacceptable levels of damage to northwest Minnesota's livestock industry" was between neutral and agree. Although there was a statistical difference in mean response scores of residents living within wolf range and residents living outside of wolf range, the scores were not substantially different from each other. While landowners felt wolves were a threat to their livelihood, other factors (market fluctuations, laws and government, diseases, extreme weather, flooding) were ranked as greater threats to the agricultural community. Rural residents both within and outside of wolf range harbored similar negative attitudes toward wolves, even though residents outside of wolf range have not had a population of wolves in their area for >100 years, indicating little change in cultural attitudes toward wolves.
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The return and the growth of large carnivore populations and especially the wolf population have caused a fierce public debate between advocates and opponents. In this debate the tourist perspective has been overshadowed by other interests, mostly by farmers and hunters, disregarded by the research and mostly promoted by environmental movement. Even if the tourism perspective has played a nearly non-existing role in the public debate it has become a much more important perspective due to growth in segments of eco- and nature-based tourism as a tool for rural development and nature conservation. Previous research on attitudes towards large carnivores has systematically focused on public attitudes and attitudes among interests, negatively touched by these animals. The purpose of this article is to analyze the attitudes towards large carnivores and carnivore tourism among tourism entrepreneurs in the county of Varmland, Sweden. The main objective is to scrutinize the relationship between the entrepreneur's attitudes toward large carnivores and their attitudes towards and opinion about the potential for large carnivores as resource for tourism. The empirical data is based on survey responses from 134 entrepreneurs in spring 2004. Among other findings, the results suggest that we have to take place attachment and other place dependent aspects into account to fully understand how tourism entrepreneurs, who best represent the tourism perspective, and their attitudes affect their perceived potential for large carnivores as resources for tourism.
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The reappearance and recovery of large carnivores in human-dominated landscapes creates a need to understand how people will respond to the presence of these animals. We tested a psychological model of acceptance to determine what variables most influence people's acceptance for black bears (Ursus americanus) in an area with an emerging black bear population (Ohio, USA). We hypothesized that people's perceptions of risk and benefit related to bears would mediate the effect of trust (in wildlife management agencies) and personal control (over interactions with and management of wildlife) on acceptance for black bears. We used a mail-back survey of Ohio residents (n=9,400; adjusted response rate=35%) to assess the variables of interest and test the hypothesized model. Based on multiple criteria of model fit, the hypothesized model fit the data acceptably well. The model explained approximately 62% of the variance in acceptance, and perception of risk associated with black bears had the largest impact on the level of acceptance. As large carnivore populations expand and interactions with humans increase, our results will aid managers in designing outreach materials and communications aimed at promoting acceptance for large carnivores. Our model suggests that interventions raising an individual's social trust in the managing agency, or personal control can indirectly raise stakeholders' acceptance by reducing risk perception and increasing perception of benefit from carnivores. © 2012 The Wildlife Society.
Article
The reappearance and recovery of large carnivores in human-dominated landscapes creates a need to understand how people will respond to the presence of these animals. We tested a psychological model of acceptance to determine what variables most influence people's acceptance for black bears (Ursus americanus) in an area with an emerging black bear population (Ohio, USA). We hypothesized that people's perceptions of risk and benefit related to bears would mediate the effect of trust (in wildlife management agencies) and personal control (over interactions with and management of wildlife) on acceptance for black bears. We used a mail-back survey of Ohio residents (n?=?9,400; adjusted response rate?=?35%) to assess the variables of interest and test the hypothesized model. Based on multiple criteria of model fit, the hypothesized model fit the data acceptably well. The model explained approximately 62% of the variance in acceptance, and perception of risk associated with black bears had the largest impact on the level of acceptance. As large carnivore populations expand and interactions with humans increase, our results will aid managers in designing outreach materials and communications aimed at promoting acceptance for large carnivores. Our model suggests that interventions raising an individual's social trust in the managing agency, or personal control can indirectly raise stakeholders' acceptance by reducing risk perception and increasing perception of benefit from carnivores. (c) 2012 The Wildlife Society.
Article
In some Norwegian regions conflicts between sheep farmers and wildlife managers have increased considerably in frequency and intensity. In order to gain more insight into the inhabitants’ attitudes toward one carnivore species, opinions about the preferred size of the wolf population, attitudes and knowledge about wolves, and experience with animal‐related activities were surveyed in southeastern Norway. The attitude typology identified by Kellert (1986) was applied. Of the total sample, 14% wanted wolves extirpated in Norway, 37% wanted the present population reduced, 40% wanted it maintained, and 7% wanted it increased. The proportion wanting wolves extirpated or reduced increased as the perceived size of the wolf population increased, age increased, and educational level decreased. The attitude profiles showed that old persons, pensioners, and those with only basic education expressed high dominionistic, high negativistic and high utilitarian, and low naturalistic scores, whereas young persons with higher education showed the reverse pattern.
Article
The intensity of the carnivore versus livestock conflicts in Norway is increasing. This study compares the attitudes toward large carnivores (bear, wolf, lynx, and wolverine) among Norwegian sheep farmers, wildlife managers, and research biologists, using Kellert's (1991) attitude typology. Wildlife managers and research biologists endorsed ecologistic and naturalistic attitudes, and had low scores on the dominionistic, negativistic, and utilitarian attitudes. Researchers had higher scores than managers on the moralistic attitudes. Sheep farmers expressed the opposite attitude profile through high dominionistic, negativistic, and utilitarian, and low ecologistic, moralistic, and naturalistic attitudes. In a multiple regression analysis age, gender, education, occupation, and residency during childhood were associated with attitudes toward carnivores.
Article
The present study investigated the relationship between emotional investment and attachment to livestock among Norwegian sheep farmers, and their perception of large predators such as the wolf, bear, lynx and wolverine. Most studies on attachment have focused on infants and children. However, more recently, the effects of pet ownership on child development have received increased attention among researchers. In the current work we hypothesized that attachment to livestock would affect the attitudes towards large carnivores. Based on questionnaire data from 491 respondents, a structural equation model (SEM) was set up to test this assumption. Results showed that attachment to livestock significantly predicted attitudes toward carnivores. In particular, negative attitudes were strongly related to attachment in such a way that the deeper the attachment farmers had for livestock, the more negative were their attitudes towards the predators. This article discusses the need for a differentiation among attachment to various kinds of animals in order to understand attitudinal relationships with carnivores.
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Given the increasing use of attitude surveys, the need to recognize the complex nature of the attitude concept increases. This study proposes and tests a conceptual model of attitudes using wolf reintroduction in Colorado as a case study. The model proposed that cognitive factors (beliefs and knowledge about wolves and wolf reintroduction), affective factors (emotions elicited by wolf reintroduction), and attitudes toward wolves have concomitant effects on attitudes toward reintroducing wolves, which directly influence intention to support reintroducing wolves. The relative effects of each of these factors depend on the personal importance of the wolf reintroduction issue. Results suggest that attitudes toward wolf reintroduction were based less on knowledge and beliefs about wolves and wolf reintroduction than on values and emotions surrounding the issue. Furthermore, the relative effects of these factors on attitudes depend on the importance individuals place on the wolf reintroduction issue. Implications focus on the need to understand what factors drive attitudes toward a natural resource issue, especially when attempting to influence public attitudes toward that issue.
Article
The natural recolonization of gray wolves (Canis lupus) into parts of their former range in the upper Midwest of the United States has led to wolves establishing territories in semi-agricultural areas containing livestock. As part of a study on wolf–livestock relationships in a northwestern Minnesota agricultural area, we surveyed rural landowners within and outside of wolf range to assess perceptions regarding the risks wolves pose to livestock (mainly cattle). The mean response score for rural landowners to the statement “I think wolves should be allowed to exist in northwest Minnesota” was between neutral and disagree. There was no difference in mean response scores between rural residents living within wolf range and residents living adjacent to but outside of wolf range. The rural residents' mean response score to the statement “Wolves are causing unacceptable levels of damage to northwest Minnesota's livestock industry” was between neutral and agree. Although there was a statistical difference in mean response scores of residents living within wolf range and residents living outside of wolf range, the scores were not substantially different from each other. While landowners felt wolves were a threat to their livelihood, other factors (market fluctuations, laws and government, diseases, extreme weather, flooding) were ranked as greater threats to the agricultural community. Rural residents both within and outside of wolf range harbored similar negative attitudes toward wolves, even though residents outside of wolf range have not had a population of wolves in their area for >100 years, indicating little change in cultural attitudes toward wolves.
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Purpose: This study investigated the symptoms of anxiety and depression in adolescence, their associations with lifestyle and resilience and the possibility that resilience factors can attenuate the associations between unhealthy lifestyle and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Methods: Adolescents (n = 7,639) aged 13-18 years completed a questionnaire regarding lifestyle and health. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were measured by the SCL-5, a five-item shortened version of the Hopkins Symptom Checklist. Resilience factors included questions on friends and family relations and two sub-scales of the Resilience Scale for Adolescents; Family cohesion and Social competence. Results: Of the total population, 13% reported symptoms of anxiety and depression. Resilience characteristics were associated with lower symptom levels (ORs ranging from 0.2 to 0.6), and substance use and infrequent physical activity with higher symptom levels (ORs ranging from 2.1 to 4.0). The associations with substance use were strengthened by social competence, but attenuated by family cohesion. The association with physical activity was attenuated by both social competence and family cohesion. Conclusion: Symptoms of anxiety and depression were frequent in adolescents and were associated with unhealthy lifestyle factors as substance use and low physical activity. Resilience characteristics seemed to protect against symptoms and markedly influenced the associations between lifestyle factors and symptoms of anxiety and depression. The importance of family and other supportive relationships should be emphasized in treatment and prevention of anxiety and depression in adolescence.
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Recent decades have seen a gradual erosion of farming incomes across the UK due to falling commodity prices and changes to the subsidy regime. This study examines what resources farmers are able to access informally and how this ‘social capital’ is generated and maintained in farming communities. Using a conceptual framework based on Bourdieu's conceptualisations of social and cultural capital, this study explores the evolving informal exchange relationships between farmers in a case study of Upper Deeside, Scotland. We find that although cultural capital is important for accessing social capital, the technological treadmill characteristic of ‘good farming’ creates a disincentive for informally sharing machinery amongst large-scale farmers. However, social capital remains an important resource for smaller scale farmers, particularly in terms of their access to labour. We conclude by suggesting that, far from being a low-cost means of facilitating community economic development, increasing the level of social capital will be difficult in communities where labour is a scarce or expensive resource.
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Studies throughout Europe have suggested that voluntary agri-environmental programmes often engender very little change in attitudes towards productivist agriculture among conventional farming communities. This study examines why this may be so, using case studies from Hessen, Germany and Aberdeenshire, Scotland. By constructing a conceptual framework based on Bourdieu's notions of capital we explore how farming activities are able to generate symbolic capital, and compare this with the symbolic value of conservation work. We find that voluntary agri-environmental work returns little symbolic capital to farmers as, by prescribing management practices and designating specific areas for agri-environmental work, such schemes fail to allow farmers to develop or demonstrate skilled role performance – thus inhibiting the development of embodied cultural capital. We conclude by suggesting that entrepreneurial production-target based agri-environmental schemes may be ultimately more effective in changing long-term behaviour.
Article
We examined and compared human attitudes toward wolves (Canis lupus), grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis), and mountain lions (Puma concolor) in North America, with an emphasis on the Rocky Mountains of the United States and Canada. Primary research, literature review, and secondary data were included in the analysis. Wolves were historically persecuted by Euro-American settlers, but they have been the focus of a significant attitudinal transformation during the latter half of this century. Many now view the wolf in positive and protective ways. Considerable variation remains, however, in contemporary attitudes. Attitudes toward mountain lions have been highly ambivalent, never assuming the prominence or clarity of views on wolves. The behavior and physiology of the species, along with human psychological factors, are important reasons for the difference in human perceptions of wolves and mountain lions. We also examined attitudes toward grizzly bears. Many indigenous cultures revered grizzly bears, although European settlers were interested in exploiting and eliminating them. Today, perceptions of grizzly bears range from positive to negative. Our recommendations include targeting key groups with education programs, building support through the use of spokespeople within the target groups, integrating human and ecological concerns, and designing species-specific education initiatives in some cases.
Article
The wolf population in Scandinavia has increased from functionally extinct to about 100 wolves since the 1970s. In 2001 we surveyed four groups of Swedes to analyze the relationship between experience, knowledge, and people's attitude toward wolves. Although all groups support the right of wolves to exist, Swedes who live in areas where wolves have been restored have more negative attitudes than the general public. Attitudes toward wolves are not strong among the general public, thus changes are possible. Experience with wolf predation leads to more negative attitudes toward wolves. Hunters in areas with wolves have the most accurate knowledge about wolves but at the same time the most negative attitudes. But within all four groups as knowledge increases attitudes become more positive. Still, the most knowledgeable local hunters have less favorable attitudes than the least knowledgeable members of the general public. High proportions of the population do not care about wolves which makes it difficult to reach them with information, but does make them susceptible to rapid changes if wolves become a media topic. With the restoration of wolves, hunters, the strongest supporters of wolves in the 1970s, are now less supportive than the general public.
Article
In this paper, we draw on the concept of ‘lifescape’ (Somé and McSweeney, ILEIA Newsletter, ETC Leusden, The Netherlands, 1996; Howorth, Rebuilding the Local Landscape, Ashgate, Aldershot, 1999) to capture the spatial, emotional and ethical dimensions of the relationship between landscape, livestock and farming community and to elucidate the heterogeneity of agricultural emotional landscapes. In so doing, we illustrate complex and contradictory spatial, emotional and ethical relations between humans and non-humans. Farm animals may exist simultaneously as ‘friends’ and sources of food, leading to a blurring of socially constructed categories such as ‘livestock’ and ‘pet’ (Holloway, J. Rural Stud. 17 (2001) 293). Livestock as ‘economic machines’ for converting roughage to meat, milk and by-products (Briggs and Briggs, Modern Breeds of Livestock, fourth ed., Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc., New York, 1980) represents one strand of these relations; the sight of farmers crying and farm animals being blessed during the 2001 Cumbrian foot and mouth outbreak, yet another. As (Franklin, Anthropology Today 17 (3) (2001) 3) indicates, ‘the farmer weeping beside the blazing pyre of dead sheep is a complex portrait of a breach in the relationships between animals and humans’. By drawing on experiences of the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic, for farmers and the wider rural community in North Cumbria, we try to articulate the ambiguities of this breach.
Article
The theme of this paper is the family farm and the problems of defining it. The approach taken is to recognize the difference between theoretical definitional practices of sociologists and anthropologists, on the one hand, and everyday definitional practices of family farmers on the other. The former focus upon observable behaviour and/or quantitative measures that are used to construct an analytical concept with precise boundaries; the latter are not interested in defining the boundaries of the concept of the family farm but in understanding the nature and operations of their family farms so that they can reproduce them in their everyday activities. They attend to what is most central and ideal to the family farm and this is the basis of their concept of the family farm. Through an ethnographic account of hill sheep farms in the Scottish borderlands, the paper argues that the essence of family farms is a consubstantial relation between family and farm such that the distinct existence and form of both partake of or become united in a common substance that is transmitted over generations. The analysis highlights the economic and social interdependence of family and farm, the process by which the farm becomes embodied through family labour, the strategies adopted by the family to ensure the transfer of the farm to the following generation, and the use of a genetic metaphor to transpose a legal relation between family and farm into a consubstantial one.
Article
Groups involved in the livestock vs large carnivore conflict hold widely divergent attitudes toward carnivores, yet they all endorse general ecocentric values. The hypothesis that contrasting motives for the endorsement of ecocentric values may mediate between the general values and attitudes toward carnivores was evaluated in a survey among sheep farmers, wildlife managers, and research biologists in Norway. Results showed positive associations between anthropocentrism and negative attitudes toward carnivores, and between ecocentrism and positive attitudes toward carnivores for all three groups. Farmers, relative to the other groups, scored lowest on the ecocentric and highest on the anthropocentric subscales, as operationalized by Thompson and Barton (1994). This result may be interpreted within a cognitive hierarchy model where environmental beliefs may transform general ecocentric values into negative or positive attitudes toward one specific environmental category.