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Veterinary worlds & the challenges of multispecies coexistence 
Amy Clare (Technical University of Munich)
Else Vogel (University of Amsterdam)
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Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

Amidst the challenges of multispecies coexistence, this panel explores veterinary dilemmas of more-than-human care; vets’ roles in institutional & regulatory arrangements that shape the politics & governance of human and animal life; and the effects of technological innovations on veterinary work.

Long Abstract:

Veterinarians are increasingly called upon to manage the challenges of multispecies coexistence, whether these concern animal health and welfare, food safety, public health or sustainability; a phenomenon that Broz et al. (2021) have termed the “veterinarization of society.” Now more than ever, veterinary knowledge intervenes in regulatory processes and law-making for agriculture, public health, border control, scientific experiments and nature conservation. In regulating the reproduction, treatment, movement and killing of animals, veterinary interventions thus shape the lives and bodies of pets, livestock, laboratory animals, wildlife and humans in ways that go far beyond vets’ clinical engagements with individual animals.

Yet veterinary expertise is fraught with tensions. As STS scholars have noted, various knowledge traditions within veterinary medicine espouse different versions of what animal bodies are, do and need, offering different courses of action (Bock & Buller 2013; Law & Mol 2011). In practice, vets must navigate caring and killing (Law 2010), clinical, advisory and inspection tasks (Vogel 2022), the needs of individual animals, and the wellbeing of the herd or conservation of the species (Braverman, 2020), as they encounter differently categorized and valued animals in light of economic concerns, affect and biosecurity risks (Keck 2020; Blanchette 2020).

This panel explores veterinary worlds amidst shifting human-animal relationships on a planet in trouble. We invite contributions that explore veterinary dilemmas of more-than-human care, or take vets as an empirical entrance into exploring the broader techno-scientific, institutional and regulatory arrangements that shape the politics and governance of human and animal life (Hinchliffe et al. 2017). We also welcome papers that explore how technological innovations such as automated milking systems or reproductive technologies shape the norms and demands on veterinary work. With this panel, we hope to foster a vibrant and continuous engagement across STS-veterinary borderlands (Enticott 2017).

Accepted papers:

Session 1
Session 2