U.K. to end ancient practice of printing laws on animal skin

AP

It is often said some laws aren’t worth the paper they are printed on. Not in Britain, where for centuries laws have been printed not on paper but on calfskin parchment known as vellum.

But not for much longer. Starting next month, laws will be printed on archival paper rather than animal skin.

The House of Commons Administration Committee proposed the change last year, and the House of Lords — which decides how legislation is recorded — has approved a move that will save an estimated £80,000 ($116,000) a year.

Parliamentary officials say the high-quality paper can last up to 500 years.

Vellum-backers plan to put up a fight. Commons Speaker John Bercow said Wednesday that lawmakers who oppose the move can seek a debate in the House of Commons.