Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Slaughter stopped by sheep-napping
April 2, 2012 Mark Hoult for the Community Press
Trent Hills — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency found no sheep to slaughter Monday morning at Montana Jones' Wholearth Farm Studio near Hastings.
The 41 rare Shropshire Sheep were allegedly taken from the barn sometime overnight by an organization identifying itself as the Farmers' Peace Corps.
Jones' lawyer, Canadian Constitution Foundation litigation director Karen Selick, said her client went out first thing in the morning and found an empty barn and a note from the Farmers' Peace Corps which read: “We have taken the animals into protective custody until an alternative to killing has been found, or conclusive independent proof or clear evidence of disease has been proven. This has been done without the knowledge or participation of the owner.”
Selick said she arrived at Jones' farm early in the morning dressed in black to mourn the impending destruction of the sheep. “But Montana informed me that she had been the victim of a theft overnight, and that the 41 sheep are gone,” she said, stressing that the disappearance of the sheep “was totally unexpected.”
Selick said she was going to turn the note over to the police. “This is a serious matter,” she said, repeating a warning posted on Facebook that under the Health of Animals Act, any person obstructing or hindering CFIA officials in the performance of their duty can be imprisoned for two years and fined $250,000.
More than 60 people gathered at Jones' farm cheered and applauded as Selick read the words of the note. They came to the farm to demonstrate against the decision by the CFIA to destroy the 41 Shropshire Sheep and to support Jones in her efforts to preserve the rare breed in the cause of maintaining genetic diversity.
The CFIA recently notified Jones of its intention to destroy the sheep on Mon. April 2. The order to destroy the sheep was made under a federal program to eradicate scrapie, an illness which affects the productivity and longevity of sheep, but is not transmissible to humans.
Jones sold a single sheep to an Alberta farm in 2007. Three years later the animal was found to have scrapie. The CFIA put Jones' farm under quarantine in January, 2009. Jones has been negotiating with the CFIA for more than two years, during which no proof or evidence of infection has been found, Selick said.
Comment: Both the OPP and the CFIA are looking for the sheep. Jones said CFIA staff have rejected her proposed "alternative risk-control measures," such as taking 30 sheep for destruction and testing while allowing her to keep back 11 of "the most significant rare breeding stock." "They have also been refusing to allow a third party tissue test. They plan to take away the only evidence I might have to disprove their results if they claim there is a positive," Jones alleged in the foundation's release. "I have seen the CFIA make numerous errors and am very concerned that their results could be inaccurate." There are only about 107 female Shrops in Canada. (Source: Canadian Cattlemen 04/03/12) Bureaucrats are only flexing their muscle and acting without due diligence and cause. Lack of common sense and ignorance is rampant among government officials.