Farmers in general have to deal with many changes upon which traditional behaviour or knowledge has no answer. One of these is the European policy to combat epidemic livestock diseases as happened in the Netherlands in 1998 with Swine Fever and in 2001 with Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). The psychological impact of the FMD-policy has hardly been investigated. In this study this impact was studied among dairy farmers by comparing areas with different severity of the crisis. Subjects came from one cultural group: Dutch dairy farmers (n = 661). Questionnaires about stress, psychological marginalization and depression were administered in three different areas: the `culled¿ area, the `buffer¿ area and the FMD-`free¿ area. The psychological impact of the FMD-crisis was associated with differences in levels of stress, marginalization and depression. It was concluded that the impact of the FMD-crisis was considerable, especially for farmers in the `culled¿ area.
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