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Accepted Paper:

Animal health and Soviet agricultural modernization  
Vera Smirnova (Almaty Management University)


Large-scale modernization of animal husbandry in Kazakhstan started in the 1930s. It is usually associated with collectivization, sedentarization of people and animals and their concentration on collective and state farms. What also mattered for future development was the devastating famine of 1931-33 (when around 1,5 million people and 92% of animals perished). In response, the Kremlin wanted to restore Kazakhstan as “the largest base of animal husbandry in the east” of the country. To implement this colonialism-style idea, mass transportation of animals to the republic took place, though poorly organized from a veterinary perspective which subsequently led to epizootic of brucellosis.

Kazakh nomads traditionally had special techniques to deal with animal health problems . Based upon the use of archival sources from both Kazakhstan and Russia, we argue, that this folk veterinary was replaced by western veterinary and its sanitary norms, nomadic material culture highly dependent on animals was replaced by stationary farms, animals were alienated from people due to shift of property rights due to collectivization. Kazakhstan veterinary in 1930s and 1940s faced several issues: lack of veterinary staff and lack of qualification of available specialists, acute shortage of materials and tools for disinfection; in some cases disagreement between scholars about anti-epizootic policies. As a result of all those problems, epizootic and epidemic of brucellosis took place in Kazakhstan. The publications of brucellosis in Kazakhstan cover the period after 1953, not so much is known about the initial stage of infection spread.

Panel T40GEO
Modernization and sovietization by monocultural production in past and present Central Asia
  Session 1 Friday 7 June, 2024, -