Protesters Face Libel

A group of protesters campaigning against a giant pig farm in the UK are being threatened with libel litigation.


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A group of environmental and animal-welfare groups led by the Soil Association, an organic farming group, are being threatened with libel for protesting a potential pig farm in Foston, Deryshire, in central England. The protesters say the 25,000 plus pigs would risk promoting diseases that could be passed to humans, such as salmonella and meningitis. A group of libel lawyers from the firm Carter-Ruck wrote a letter to the protestors, warning against “misconceived and formulaic allegations” and threatening a costly lawsuit. This attempt is the latest in a series that use libel laws to quiet the critics of large commercial companies—the only way someone can be sued for libel is if they publicly lie recklessly or deliberately about a person or persons.