Thursday, May 2, 2013

Canadian government kills sheep to ensure they aren't sick

Canadian Government Destroys Heritage Sheep Herd and Wants to Send Farmer to Prison | Health Impact News - Brian Shilhavy:

April 25, 2013 - "Shepherdess Montana Jones began accumulating her flock of rare Shropshire sheep in 2000.... But in early 2010, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) suddenly quarantined Montana’s farm. A single sheep that she had sold in 2007 had died on a farm more than 1,500 miles away. It tested positive for a disease called scrapie. The CFIA thought the rest of Montana’s flock might be infected.

"The CFIA conducted live biopsies on Montana’s flock during 2011. All were negative for disease. None showed any symptoms of illness. But the CFIA said the live tests were only 88% accurate. They would need to kill the sheep and dissect their brains to know for sure whether they were ill, they said.

"Montana and her lawyer Karen Selick of the Canadian Constitution Foundation (CCF) fought the CFIA throughout the early months of 2012, pointing out the absurdity of killing the sheep to make sure they weren’t sick.... Intransigent, the CFIA ordered that the sheep be destroyed. They told Montana they’d be coming to seize the sheep early on the morning of April 2, 2012.

"On the morning of the scheduled slaughter, Montana found that the sheep had disappeared.... The CFIA and Ontario Provincial Police mounted a massive search for the sheep, conducting door-to-door searches throughout rural Ontario and employing helicopters for aerial surveillance.

"About 9 weeks after the sheep’s disappearance, the CFIA received a tip-off from an undisclosed source. The sheep were located 200 miles away from Montana’s farm, at a farm very close to raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt’s farm. The CFIA seized, killed and tested all the sheep, including numerous lambs that had been born to them during their absence. All were negative for scrapie.

"Now Montana Jones has been charged with numerous criminal offences, including conspiracy, breach of quarantine, and disobeying a regulatory order. The CFIA also alleges that Michael Schmidt is involved in the conspiracy. He too is facing criminal charges. If convicted, Montana faces up to 12 years in jail and fines of $1.5 million. Michael, charged with one less charge, faces up to 10 years in jail and fines of $1.25 million.

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