The sheep of Bas-Berry and liver fluke disease from the end of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century

Nicolas BARON

Professeur agrégé d’Histoire-Géographie au Lycée Curie (Châteauroux), 23, rue Berlioz 36000 Châteauroux

Adopting the “animal point of view” conceptualized by Eric Baratay, this article attempts to reconstruct the lives of sheep from Indre faced with liver fluke disease between the end of the 18th and the middle of the 20th century, using local records and linking them with the publications of veterinarians, animal scientists and ethologists. The “wool-producing animals”, extremely high in number and the mainstay of Bas-Berry’s economy, had long been under threat from cruel and destructive diseases. The slow and erratic improvement in their state of health during this period owes much more to advancements in rearing conditions and disease prevention than to treatments still in their infancy and, in all instances, remains dependent on the financial resources of breeders. Through the study of animal suffering the broad outlines of animal welfare ultimately emerge.


Ref. :éd.sci.vét., 2014, 14 : 111-121