Historical Records of Australian Science Historical Records of Australian Science Society
The history of science, pure and applied, in Australia and the southwest Pacific

From Beverley Disease to Braxy to Enterotoxaemia: the Journey of a Disease in Western Australian Livestock and the Transmission of Veterinary Knowledge in Australasia

Natalie Edwards

Historical Records of Australian Science 20(2) 191 - 207
Published: 10 November 2009


This article examines Australasian scientific investigations into the ‘braxy-like' diseases experienced by livestock in the first part of the twentieth century. It concentrates on one of these diseases in the context of the Western Australian livestock industry and argues that environmental, social and political forces influenced changes in approach to the disease in that state. The braxy-like disease episode straddled a shift in Western Australian practices, a shift from nineteenth-century regulatory and environmental controls to increasing involvement in a twentieth-century network of veterinary science. The article addresses the question as to how local context influenced the transmission of scientific theory and method. It also investigates Australasian veterinary scientists' concurrent and inter-related pursuits of bacteriological and ecological understanding and their applications of science to the practical problems of local livestock industries.


© Australian Academy of Science 2009

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