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The First Line of Defense: Inventing the Infrastructure to Combat Animal Diseases


  • Olmstead, Alan L.


Control of livestock disease had large spillover effects on human health. By 1900 the United States was a leader in livestock disease control, thanks to the efforts of the Bureau of Animal Industry. Its first chief, Daniel Salmon, established a model that would be copied around the world in campaigns against human and animal diseases. For the most part, the Progressive Era regulations to advance livestock health and food safety were spectacular successes. The bureau's main blunder was its failure to deal effectively with trichinosis, which was far more widespread than generally believed.

Suggested Citation

  • Olmstead, Alan L., 2009. "The First Line of Defense: Inventing the Infrastructure to Combat Animal Diseases," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 327-357, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:69:y:2009:i:02:p:327-357_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Tong, 2012. "Essays on the Economics of Disease, with Particular Reference to Livestock," ISU General Staff Papers 201201010800003982, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    2. Ingrid Henriksen, 2013. "The 19th-century value chain in dairying: from milk pail to breakfast table," Working Papers 13014, Economic History Society.

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