Ruling leaves animals at sea

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A High Court judge yesterday rejected claims by animal rights protesters that Agriculture Minister Douglas Hogg was operating an unlawful policy which allowed ferries carrying farm animals to the Continent to sail in bad weather conditions likely to cause injury and suffering.

The accusations were made during a hearing in which the Protesters Animal Information Network (Pain) argued that ferries were allowed, for commercial reasons, to sail in rough weather when inspectors ought to stop them. Pain's director, the screenwriter Carla Lane, said afterwards: "I don't feel I want to be British today. We had a very good case."