Ignorance is a poor defence

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I’m afraid I don’t buy the argument put forward by PDP managing director Stuart Gulliver (which I imagine is into agro-business in some way).

He suggested that because farmers did not know, despite requests, what their feed contained, they are in no way to blame for BSE (MW May 3).

In law, ignorance is seldom accepted as a defence. If I were a farmer, I’d make absolutely sure what I was feeding my animals, if necessary getting it independently analysed. It seems not one farmer bothered to do this.

And if the feed companies would not tell me what their products contained – which is a basic statutory right for human foods – then I’d simply refuse to buy the product. The fact is that nobody cared enough.

The ignorance excuse won’t wash. BSE was caused by lack of care for animals, and lack of care for the consumer.

Peers Carter

Haydon Cross


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