Ottawa-area Raw Milk Farmer Michael Ilgert hit with Cease and Desist Order from Renfrew County Health Unit

It’s like 1994 all over again, for anyone who remembers what Michael Schmidt refers to as “the first raw milk war”. Like Michael Schmidt in 1994, Ottawa-area raw milk farmer Michael Ilgert has recently been hit with an order from the Renfrew County and District Health Unit, demanding that he “cease and desist from selling, offering for sale and distributing, milk that is not pasteurized”.

Michael Ilgert has appealed the order to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board, and a hearing has now been scheduled for Tuesday, February 28th at 10 am in the Indigo Room at the Metcalfe Hotel, 123 Metcalf Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 5L9.

Michael Schmidt, who went through the same appeal process in 1994, says that the Health Appeal Board is appointed by the Ministry of Health and has no power to change the law or offer exemptions. Michael Schmidt plans to attend Michael Ilgert’s hearing in Ottawa on Feb. 28th. Continue reading

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Not only does he drink, he also smokes

The latest from that Michael Schmidt:

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“Ask the folks who drink it” — Raw milk views expressed in recent letters to the editor of the Richmond Hill Liberal

 One of our readers send this in to the Bovine’s galactic headquarters. Firstly, here’s a photo of the poster that Lois was referring to in her original letter (farther down in this post):

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Raw milk awareness poster from York Region (Ontario, Canada). Thanks to an alert reader of the Bovine for sending us this photo.

I was reading The Liberal (Richmond Hill local paper) and came across this letter-to-the-editor:

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Agree with letter writer on raw milk

Richmond Hill Liberal

Re: LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Region’s raw milk poster offensive, misleading, Nov. 11.

Although I don’t drink raw milk, I agree with Lois Banks’ letter. Over the last few months, I have been following the regional and provincial governments’ persecution of a local farmer and his family. It is beyond disturbing that for years, these ethical, knowledgeable individuals have been intimidated, harassed, and dragged through the courts. And why? — for the sole purpose of preventing them from legally providing clean and healthy raw dairy products to people in a closed co-op group. The harassment continues.

If the government believes these products to be unsafe, they should regulate them through legitimate third party testing. It’s hypocritical of governments to engage in these bullying practices when large corporations are free to sell known carcinogens, such as those found in tobacco products. It’s very apparent that tax revenues take priority over citizens’ health. This is yet another illustration of our government engaging in David vs. Goliath tactics.

It is also completely unacceptable that our increasingly stretched tax dollars should be used in such a wasteful manner.

Surely in a democracy, unwarranted government interference in the food and drink choices of its citizens is an infringement of basic human rights.

Ann Marie Fish
Richmond Hill


http://www.yorkregion.com/opinion-story/7024456-letter-to-the-editor-agree-with-letter-writer-on-raw-milk/

There’s also the original letter:

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Region’s raw milk poster offensive, misleading

Richmond Hill Liberal

Dear fellow citizens,

York Region’s raw milk poster is offensive and misleading. There are more kinds of milk than this.

Raw milk, like any ‘raw’ or ‘pasteurized’ food, can make you sick if contaminated.

People who drink unpasteurized milk do so mostly because they wish to have whole organic or biodynamic foods, support sustainable farming and consume food from local farmers.

Thousands are drinking milk from goats, sheep, buffalo and cows. Canadians are free under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to eat and drink what they wish, follow their own conscience, and pursue happiness and health.

Canada is the only G8 country where unpasteurized milk is not regulated and sold in stores. Why not regulate milk here too?

The Queen of England drinks raw milk and so do all of her children and grandchildren.

If you want to understand the bigger picture and find out where our current milk laws originated, see the documentary Farmageddon.

Thousands are dying from cigarette-related diseases and other things. Let’s put the focus where it really is needed.

Lois Banks
Richmond Hill

http://www.yorkregion.com/opinion-story/6959925-letter-to-the-editor-region-s-raw-milk-poster-offensive-misleading/

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Did infected sheep come from U.S.?

This was the story from February 2015 that appeared around the time of the start of pre-trial hearings in the sheep-napping conspiracy case involving Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones. Once the presiding judge slapped a publication ban on the proceedings, the National Post took down this story. But now that the case is closed — it was thrown out due to having taken too long to come to trial — reporters can again report on it, and the National Post have put the story back up.

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Montana Jones and one of her threatened Shropshires, earlier on in the long saga. This photo from Ursula Fugger (Shropshiresheep.org) was used in the National Post story.

From Adrian Humphreys in the National Post:

“The bizarre case of a flock of rare sheep — purportedly stolen from an Ontario farm by agricultural activists to thwart a federal kill order during a disease scare — was adjourned after government documents suggested the infected sheep that sparked the high-profile standoff could have actually been an animal from the United States. Continue reading

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Shepherd wins legal fight, six years later, after battling CFIA in court

Shepherd Montana Jones, with Shropshire sheep named

Shepherd Montana Jones, with Shropshire sheep named “Murdoch”, outside the court after the Judge’s ruling that Michael Schmidt and we will not proceed to another 8-weeks of Superior Court (pre-trial motions plus 6-week judge and jury Criminal Trial) previously scheduled for April 2017. Photo by Laura Berman

From Adrian Humphreys at the National Post

NEWMARKET, Ont. — A six-year battle by a shepherd trying to protect her flock of rare sheep from government slaughter ended under an avalanche of more than 14,000 pages of paperwork Monday.

An Ontario Superior Court of Justice judge threw out charges against Linda “Montana” Jones, an eastern Ontario sheep breeder, and Michael Schmidt, a well-known agricultural scofflaw, blaming prosecutors and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for its reluctant disclosure of massive amounts of government documents.

It brings to a close the strange yarn of a fugitive flock, secretly removed from Jones’ farm hours before the CFIA arrived to slaughter them. Continue reading

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Canadian Press news service story on Sheep-napping dismissal in need of correction, says Montana Jones.

Montana Jones wrote today on Facebook: 

“**WHOAH!** The media does not always fact check…Awaiting retraction/correction for a huge error in this article!

Please issue a correction The Toronto Star, CTV News, CTV Toronto, The Canadian Press, Global News, Times Colonist, and all other publications who ran with this wooly misinformation.

Reporter Diana Mehta wrote a significant false statement “Ten of the sheep were found either dead or dying during an inspection a few days later and were removed from the property”. FALSE

In fact, the CFIA destruction order started out with 41 “susceptible” sheep and dropped to 31: There were NO “dead and dying” sheep. The CFIA used that phrase apparently to imply sheep disease on my (Montana Jones) farm and mislead the public.

The reason the number changed is that a week prior a group of young sheep that were on the CFIA destruction order were shipped off farm to an abattoir, on the advice of the CFIA who authorized them to be processed and sold for meat. I chose not to sell any freezer lamb at the time and just took the loss, because there is and was so much public misperception about scrapie and human health, with people making erroneous fearful comments about mad cow disease. Under the circumstances at the time it was the best option for the sheep.

The CFIA / Crown planting that phrase, and the subsequent quoting of it by Judge Bird in her ruling, was misleading and not based in fact. They were sent for meat the week before on March 28,2012, under direction and supervision of the CFIA .”

From the Canadian Press story:

“Charges in a long-running case over the abduction of prized sheep from an Ontario farm were stayed this week, after a judge found there had been unreasonable delays in bringing the matter to trial.

The development ends a slow-grinding legal ordeal for an Ontario sheep breeder and a dairy farmer, unless the Crown decides to appeal.

Linda “Montana” Jones and Michael Schmidt were charged following an investigation into the removal of 31 sheep from an Ontario farm in April 2, 2012, hours before the animals were to be euthanized.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency had ordered the slaughter after a sheep sold by Jones to an Alberta farm allegedly tested positive in 2010 for scrapie, a deadly and easily transmitted disease that affects the nervous systems of sheep and goats.

A lawyer for Jones and Schmidt sought a stay of proceedings earlier this month, arguing the delay in bringing the case to trial was unreasonable….”

“When the CFIA learned of the positive test for scrapie on the Alberta farm, it made a number of orders which affected Jones’ farm and her herd of Shropshire sheep, Bird’s ruling said.

On March 23, 2012, an order was signed authorizing the destruction of 41 sheep, an action that was to take place on April 2 that year.

Ten of the sheep were found either dead or dying during an inspection a few days later and were removed from the property, Bird’s ruling said.

Jones said, however, that there were no dead or dying sheep on the farm. She said a group of young sheep that were on the CFIA destruction order were sent to an abattoir on the advice of the CFIA, which authorized them to be processed and sold for meat. Jones said she chose not to sell any freezer lamb at the time.

On April 1, 2012, the remaining 31 sheep that were to be killed were suddenly taken from Jones’ farm by a group that called itself the Farmers Peace Corp….”

Read the whole story on the Canadian Press website.

 

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Sheep-napping case dismissed today, due to excessive delay getting to trial

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Montana Jones, lawyer Genevieve Eliany, and Michael Schmidt, emerge victorious from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Newmarket this morning, with a verdict of “case dismissed”.

A full courtroom gallery of supporters and reporters listened intently this morning while Madame Justice Laura Bird read out her reasons for judgement on the motion of Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones, which was asking to have the CFIA’s case against them dismissed due to excessive delay. In short, Justice Bird did grant the requested dismissal of the case. Read the full “Reasons for Judgement” at this link.

While Justice Bird did attribute responsibility for eight months of the total 53 months delay to the defense, she concluded that the prosecution was primarily responsible for causing the delay through a failure to devote sufficient staff resources to getting the disclosure material out to the defense in a timely manner. Instead it dribbled out over the course of years, the last 5,000 pages of it arriving just in time for the scheduled start of pre-trial hearings in April of 2015.

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