The failure to eliminate bovine TB from the English and Welsh cattle herd represents a long-term intractable policy failure. Cattle-to-cattle transmission of the disease has been underemphasised in the debate compared with transmission from badgers despite a contested evidence base. Archival evidence shows that mythical constructions of the badger have shaped the policy debate. Relevant evidence was incomplete and contested; alternative framings of the policy problem were polarised and difficult to reconcile; and this rendered normal techniques of stakeholder management through co-option and mediation of little assistance
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