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Procedural hearing today

11 April 2017

This morning we attended the Sheriff court in Lanark for a procedural hearing in the cases involving the seizure of Lanark Blue and Corra Linn. South Lanarkshire Council asked the Sheriff for a continuation for another four weeks to get ‘technical reports’; to allow them to draft further court papers in relation to these cases and to draft new proceedings in relation to the seizure of the Dunsyre Blue. The Dunsyre blue was seized over three weeks ago and, contrary to the Food Law Code of Practice, SLC have still not initiated court proceedings. The Council's solicitor also explained they wanted to hold over the current court cases to try and get all of the actions running at the same time. Our position was that the Council have had over six months to get their cases in order; that we should be allowed to have a hearing into the matters in dispute at the earliest possible opportunity and there should be no continuation to allow the Council to produce further evidence. We asked the Sheriff to rule that the Lanark Blue and Corra Linn cases should now go to a proof hearing. We made it clear that we felt the Dunsyre Blue action would have to proceed along its own timetable as and when the Council finally get the case started. The Sheriff agreed with our stance that the Lanark Blue and Corra Linn cases should now all proceed to a proof hearing. The court are now looking into when they can fit the case in and hopefully firm dates will be set in about a months' time. Clarity around the timetable for the Dunsyre blue case will have to wait until the Council finalise their court papers and get their case into court.

We remain absolutely confident that all our cheese is safe to eat and that the IMT report alleging a link between Dunsyre Blue and the outbreak is incorrect. We remain frustrated that the Council's actions have dragged the whole thing on but we will fight on to re-build our business. Errington Cheese remained committed to seeking a judicial ruling on the issues in these different cases at the earliest possible opportunity. We believe in the safety of our products and of raw milk cheese in Scotland.