Day 069 - 19 Dec 94 - Page 02
1 Monday, 19th December, 1994
3 MR. RAMPTON: My Lord, before we begin, there are two things I
4 would like to mention. The first is that, in the last
5 couple of days, in response to the Defendants' requests,
6 Dr. Gomez Gonzalez or, rather, actually not him, but
7 Mr. Weidenfeld, has managed to obtain from the United
8 States from McDonald's suppliers a number of documents
9 relating to the US Corporation's animal welfare policy.
10 One is an actual written policy which came from a supplier
11 called Pabst; the other is a document which came from
12 another meat producer, not a processor, called Montfort.
13 Then there is a document prepared by the American Meat
14 Association with the University of Colorado. Then there
15 are some Tyson documents about how to treat broiler
16 chickens. My Lord, I can hand those in now, if I may?
18 MR. JUSTICE BELL: Have Ms. Steel and Mr. Morris seen these?
20 MR. RAMPTON: No. I got them myself this morning. They have
21 now been copied, and I have just handed them over.
23 MS. STEEL: Given that we requested documents on animal welfare
24 over a year ago now, I would like to know why the
25 Plaintiffs have taken so long to get hold of these.
26 Obviously, there are occasions when extra documents do turn
27 up, but the Plaintiffs claimed last year that they had made
28 efforts to get every document available to them. The
29 amount of documents that have been produced by them during
30 this trial indicates that they did not really make full
31 efforts. I feel, particularly in relation to future
32 issues, they should have a search now, rather than keep
33 producing them while the witness is in the box.
35 MR. RAMPTON: My Lord, I cannot say why these were not
36 discovered beforehand; some of them, plainly, because they
37 are simply suppliers' documents, and they are not
38 McDonald's documents at all. The McDonald's Humane
39 Treatment of Animals statement did not come from McDonald's
40 offices; it came from the supplier Pabst. I assume the
41 reason that it was not found at McDonald's is because there
42 is not a copy actually at McDonald's in Chicago.
44 MR. JUSTICE BELL: Yes. The fact is that it has been thought
45 fit to manage to get hold of them now.
47 MR. RAMPTON: Yes.
49 MR. JUSTICE BELL: We have had discussion in the past (as
50 everyone is well aware) as to whether McDonald's actually
51 have documents in their custody, power or control, when
52 they may be with suppliers or people with whom they have
53 some working connection, and I reached a view as to whether
54 I could order disclosure of those.
56 It is not very satisfactory if a technically correct stand
57 is taken about that but then, when a particular topic comes
58 under the microscope, it is found that McDonald's do have
59 the effective power -- whether or not they have the legal
60 power -- to get hold of documents which turn out to be