Publication Details

Rock, M. J., Rault, D. & Degeling, C. (2017). Dog-bites, rabies and One Health: Towards improved coordination in research, policy and practice. Social Science and Medicine, 187 126-133.


Dog-bites and rabies are neglected problems worldwide, notwithstanding recent efforts to raise awareness and to consolidate preventive action. As problems, dog-bites and rabies are entangled with one another, and both align with the concept of One Health. This concept emphasizes interdependence between humans and non-human species in complex socio-ecological systems. Despite intuitive appeal, One Health applications and critiques remain under-developed with respect to social science and social justice. In this article, we report on an ethnographic case-study of policies on dog bites and rabies, with a focus on Calgary, Alberta, Canada, which is widely recognized as a leader in animal-control policies. The fieldwork took place between 2013 and 2016. Our analysis suggests that current policies on rabies prevention may come at the expense of a 'bigger picture' for One Health. In that 'bigger picture,' support is needed to enhance coordination between animal-control and public-health policies. Such coordination has direct relevance for the well-being of children, not least Indigenous children.



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