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Trading with risk: associating bovine Tuberculosis to cattle commodities in risk-based trading

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/10/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Cultural Economy
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date6/10/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

The trading of cattle across England poses challenges to the control and eradication of the cattle disease bovine Tuberculosis (bTB). To encourage the consideration of risk in the practice of cattle trading in England, Cattle Health Accreditation Standards (CHeCS) were introduced in 2016 to associate cattle commodities with bTB. However, CHeCS has only been adopted by approximately 60 farmers and there is no evidence to suggest it is encouraging risk-based trading of cattle. In this article, I use three empirical cases to analyse how disease risk was calculated, how it was framed through CHeCS as a quantifiable quality that could be associated with cattle, and how it failed to be taken up in the market. Drawing on the work of Callon and others, I conceive this failure to be an overflow of the efforts of qualculation. Building on their work, I argue that attaching a quality to a commodity requires effort, is an unstable process and is ultimately prone to failure. © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.