The study of livestock has long been a part of rural and agricultural geography. However, farm animals have usually been studied in an economistic manner and have been regarded simply as ‘units of production’ within agricultural systems. As Philo (1995:657) has stated, animals have only appeared ‘in the background of studies in rural geography’ and there have been few attempts to view animals as ‘animals’ in their own right or, at the very least, as animals which have cultural as well as productive value to people in the countryside. Some early effort was expended on mapping and explaining livestock distribution using broad (productive) categories such as ‘dairy’ cattle, ‘beef’ cattle, sheep, pigs, ‘table’ foul or ‘laying’ foul, as exemplified by Coppock (1964) in his agricultural atlas. As agricultural geography has become more process-orientated, so too have analyses of livestock. For example, Bowler (1975) considered specialisation in livestock enterprises in Montgomeryshire, North Wales, through an examination of ‘behavioural influences’. Symes and Marsden (1985) examined pig production in Humberside as part of a trend towards the increasing industrialisation of agricultural systems. Similarly, Halliday (1988) investigated the state imposition of quotas on dairy farmers in Devon, reflecting an increase in interest among researchers on the effects of government intervention in agriculture.