21 April 1998
T-bone ban is unenforceable, rules judge
By FWi staff
THE beef-on-the-bone ban was thrown into turmoil today (21 April) after a Scottish judge ruled that it was unenforceable. But Farm Minister Jack Cunningham immediately responded by saying that the ban will stay.
Sheriff James Paterson this morning dismissed the first court case brought against anyone for breaching the beef-on-the-bone ban. And he ruled that some of the regulations under which the case was brought were defective.
Jim Sutherland, a hotelier in the Scottish borders, was accused of serving T-bone steak to 170 farmers at a “prohibition dinner” five days after the ban was introduced last December. If found guilty, he could have faced a £1,000 fine and six months in prison.
Farm minister Jack Cunningham, who introduced the ban, said the dismissal of the case against Mr Sutherland made no difference to the law and the ban would stay.
“This case turned on a legal technicality, the regulations are essential for the protection of public health and they remain in force,” he said.
The Crown is already preparing an appeal against Sheriff Patersons ruling.