18 December 1998
Fine for ‘fake’ Aberdeen Angus

A CARLISLE court threw the book at a farmer who tried to pass off Limousin Cross cattle as Aberdeen Angus.

Phil Lightfoot, 48, who runs a 16.1ha (40 acre) holding near Appleby in Cumbria, was fined £8000 and ordered to pay £2000 costs when he admitted 95 charges brought under the Trade Descriptions Act.

Mr Lightfoot admitted 54 charges of falsely describing animals in letters to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), and 41 of applying false descriptions to animals sold for slaughter.

Cumbrias trading standards were alerted to the deception when MAFF staff in Carlisle were asked to change 225 identification documents.

The fraudster bought cheap, non-pedigree animals and then wrote to MAFF claiming he had been provided with the wrong identification document.

In documentation he supplied to MAFF, he chose an Aberdeen Angus sire from lists published in the magazine of the Aberdeen Angus Society.

Mr Lightfoot told the court he was under the impression the rules were “sales talk”. He now plans to give up farming.

It is estimated he stood to make £18,000 from the transactions.

  • The Herald 18/12/98 page 23