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On-line version ISSN 2309-8392
Print version ISSN 0018-229X


VANDENBERGH, Stefanie. "The story of a disease": African horsesickness and its direct influence on the necessary development of veterinary science in South Africa c. 1890s-1920s. Historia [online]. 2010, vol.55, n.2, pp.243-262. ISSN 2309-8392.

Veterinary science was underdeveloped in South Africa prior to the early twentieth century. Horses were crucial to the country's (economic) development, and therefore the health of these animals became very important to South Africa; any horse disease had a major impact on the country's progress. A study of AHS is not only about sick or dead horses; it goes beyond the obvious and uncovers the many social implications that animal disease can cause. AHS has been encountered in South Africa since the first horses arrived in the Cape when Jan van Riebeeck disembarked and even today the disease is not uncommon. Due to its active presence, AHS had an impact on far more than the economic development of the country.

Keywords : African horsesickness (AHS); horses; veterinary development; Arnold Theiler; Duncan Hutcheon; animal disease; rinderpest; colonial veterinarians; Contagious Disease Act; Department of Agriculture; Louis Botha; Onderstepoort.

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