Three weeks ago the authorities “seized” all our Lanark Blue and on 24th March the Sheriff in Lanark will begin to listen to their evidence that It is unfit to eat—and we will have the chance, for the first time, to challenge the evidence and show why we believe it is quite safe. At the same time our Corra Linn cheese was “detained” by the authorities for a 21-day period. That period expired today and, because we anticipated that the authorities would want to proceed to “seize” it along with the Lanark Blue, we wrote to them on Wednesday to express concerns that they would want to remove the Corra Linn from our premises as they had removed the Lanark Blue. We pointed out that the storage provided must allow us access to brush the cheese every few days and also that the temperature and humidity would have to be right, and we explained our worry about the possibility of damage to and contamination of the cheese during removal and transport (the Corra Linn is not wrapped). We received no response.
Yesterday we learnt in a telephone conversation with the EHO’s that they intended to remove the cheese to storage where the conditions were such that they accepted the cheese would become unfit to eat. This news, that in effect they intended to destroy an entire year’s production (almost 7 tonnes), was devastating and we were determined we had to do whatever we could to stop the removal. Today we went to the Court of Session where the authorities backed down and agreed to leave the cheese where it is, in exchange for our agreement not to sell any cheese until the Sheriff in Lanark has made a decision as to its fitness for consumption.
It has been a stressful two days and we now have to concentrate on gathering the evidence to show that Corra Linn, like Lanark Blue, is safe to eat.