U.K. reverses decision to stop printing laws on calf skin parchment

LONDON - Britain's vellum is not vanishing after all.

The government has reversed a decision to end the centuries-old practice of printing official copies of laws on parchment made from goat or calf skin.

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Some lawmakers expressed dismay when it was announced last week that future laws would be printed on archive paper instead, a move expected to save 80,000 pounds ($116,000) a year.

Paymaster General Matt Hancock told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that Britain should keep vellum to "safeguard some of our great traditions."

The oldest vellum law in parliament's archives dates from 1497, and even older vellum copies survive of documents including the 1215 Magna Carta.

Paul Wright, general manager of vellum producer William Cowley, said Monday that retaining vellum would ensure future generations had the opportunity to "touch history."



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