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Collective resistance to HPAI H5N1 surveillance in the Thai cockfighting community: Insights from a social anthropology study

Paul M., Figuié M., Kovitvadhi A., Valeix S., Wongnarkpet S., Poolkhet C., Kasemsuwan S., Ducrot C., Roger F., Binot A.. 2015. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 120 (1) : p. 106-114. International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance. 2, 2014-05-07/2014-05-09, La Havane (Cuba).

DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.02.021

Farmers may organize themselves to collectively manage risks such as animal diseases. Our study shows some evidence of such organization among fighting cock owners in Thailand. Fighting cocks were specifically targeted by HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) H5N1 surveillance and control measures in Thailand because they were thought to pose a high risk of spreading diseases. In this work, we used a social-anthropological approach to gain an inside view of the issues associated with HPAI H5N1 surveillance in the cockfighting community in Thailand. Based on a qualitative analysis of data collected through in-depth interviews and observation of cockfighters' practices, we found that fighting cock owners share a sense of belonging to the same community based on a common culture, values, interests, practices, and internal rules, including rules to manage poultry diseases. During the HPAI H5N1 outbreaks, these rules may have contributed to mitigating the potential risk associated with the intense movements of fighting cocks inside the country. Nevertheless, this community, despite the high awareness and know-how of its members regarding poultry diseases, has shown a strong reluctance to comply with HPAI surveillance programs. We suggest that this reluctance is due to important gaps between the logic and rationales underlying surveillance and those associated with cockfighting activities. Our study highlights the need for multi and trans-disciplinary research involving the social sciences to analyze interactions between stakeholders and the collective actions implemented by communities to face risks. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : influenzavirus aviaire; coq; surveillance épidémiologique; comportement culturel; comportement humain; facteurs culturels; système de valeurs; anthropologie sociale; Épidémiologie; participation communautaire; grippe aviaire; thaïlande; action collective

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