§ Mr. Swinney
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Pendle (Mr. Prentice) of 11 February 1998,Official Report, column 271, if he will list by district the number of butchers who have been (a) cautioned and (b) prosecuted for selling beef on the bone; how many cases have been referred to procurators fiscal in each district; what advice he has issued to procurators fiscal concerning the public interest in pursuing prosecution for selling beef on the bone; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. McLeish
My noble and learned Friend the Lord Advocate is responsible for the prosecution of crime in Scotland. Although the Beef Bones Regulations 1997 have been brought to the attention of Procurators Fiscal, 581W I understand from the Lord Advocate that no specific guidance has been issued. Although no central record is kept of prosecutions under these regulations, I am aware that criminal proceedings have been initiated in one such case, which is due to call at Selkirk Sheriff Court on 10 March 1998.
Procurators Fiscal exercise discretion as to whether proceedings should be taken in the public interest, making use of the range of prosecution options and alternatives to prosecution, including the issue of written or personal warnings.