07 April 1998
Beef-on-bone hotelier in court

THE lawyer acting for a Borders hotelier accused of breaking the beef-on-the-bone ban, told Selkirk Sheriff Court the prohibition was an infringement of individual liberty.

Michael Upton, acting for Jim Sutherland, said the regulations introduced last December were irrational and manifestly absurd, given the minute risk to human health.

The hearing will decide whether the action should be dismissed on grounds of irrelevancy and incompetence. Sutherland is charged with serving T-bone steaks to 180 guests at his Lodge Hotel, Carfraemill, near Lauder, Scotland, five days after the ban was imposed.

Upton said the Government had failed to follow proper procedures in making the regulations by laying a statutory instrument before Parliament. There had been a failure to consult the hotel, restaurant and catering trade, he said.

He also claimed the regulations were invalid because the chief purpose had been to persuade the European Commission to lift its ban on exports of British beef.

Mr Upton said he would show that the regulations have no force in law and that ministers acted irrationally in making them. The case continues.

  • The Scotsman 07/04/98 page 4
  • The Times 07/04/98 page 2
  • The Daily Telegraph 07/04/98 page 6
  • The Guardian 07/04/98 page 4