26 June 1998
Appeal judges send Scots beef-on-the-bone case back to court
By FWi staff
SCOTTISH appeal judges have backed the Crown in the first ever beef-on-the-bone case.
The original ruling, in April, threw the bone-in ban into turmoil when Selkirk Sheriff James Paterson dismissed the first case brought under the Beef Bones Regulation 1997.
Borders hotelier Jim Sutherland was accused of serving T-bone steak to 170 farmers at a “prohibition dinner” shortly after the ban was brought in. If found guilty, he would have faced a £1,000 fine and six months jail.
In April, Sheriff Paterson ruled the ban unenforceable, describing the regulations as “defective” and “manifestly absurd”. Now, three appeal judges, sitting in Edinburgh, have unanimously backed the Crown against Mr Sutherland.
Agriculture minister Jack Cunningham welcomed the appeal ruling, saying that the bone-in ban remained in force and should continue to be observed and enforced. The regulations were “essential for the protection of public health,” he added.
The case will now return to the Sheriffs Court.