Rest have to pay for ewe premium con men
Sometimes the law really is an ass. News that farmers in Northern Ireland who made false ewe premium claims are to escape prosecution because the legislation is too tightly drawn, is a good example.
The con men, who were found out when their farms were caught up in foot-and-mouth culls, have already sullied the reputation of the vast majority of honest farmers in the province. The fact they will now get away with it compounds the problem.
At least Northern Ireland farm minister, Brid Rodgers, has moved swiftly to amend the legislation. In future, producers will have 10 days to notify the authorities of any change in their sheep numbers. That is the price the many are having to pay for the reckless actions of the few.