VANCOUVER – another front in the fight for freedom of choice with respect to food has opened with the latest salvo from Gordon Watson, a co-founder and shareholder in the Our Cows herdshare in Chilliwack.
Watson, who faces charges for contempt of court along with Ontario raw milk activist Michael Schmidt, initiated a civil action in December against the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health Authorities. He alleges that health authority officials overstepped their statutory obligations in shutting down Our Cows, formerly known as Home on the Range, resulting in Watson losing property.
Watson seeks declarations affirming his right to milk from animals he owns either personally or jointly with others, damages totalling $31,002,000, and costs.
The move comes as a counterpunch to efforts by the health authorities to shut down Our Cows and prevent the distribution of raw milk to the shareholders who own the farm and its animals.
The farm’s original manager, Alice Jongerden, relinquished her duties in September 2010 in the face of contempt of Court charges for her continued involvement in the herdshare. Court documents filed by the Fraser Health Authority at the time described the distribution of raw milk from the herd as part of “a campaign of public defiance in support of the production of raw milk for human consumption”….”