CBC news: Slaughter looms for a rare sheep herd tomorrow / Rally April 2nd

From CBC News, April 1, 2012 (and no, this is not a joke):

A pair of English farm children prepare a Shropshire ram for the 1954 Royal Agricultural Show in Britain. (Harry Todd/Fox Photos/Getty) via CBC news.

“More than 40 sheep from a rare, heritage breed on an Ontario farm are to be put to death tomorrow by the federal government.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is euthanizing the sheep because a single member of the flock was sold to an Alberta farm in 2007 and, three years later, tested positive for the degenerative livestock disease scrapie.

None of the other Shropshire sheep at Wholearth Farmstudio near Peterborough, Ont., has ever tested positive for the fatal infection, owner Montana Jones says.

But the federal agency has a mandate to eradicate the disease as well as the power with which to do so.

The breed traces its bloodlines back to mid-19th century England, and at one point was one of the most popular types of sheep in North America, Jones says….”

Read it all on CBC news.

See previous coverage of this story on The Bovine:

Michigan wants to kill outdoor pigs but is Canada any better? — March 29, 2012

Rare Sheep are now on death row — Dec. 9, 2011

Tomorrow (April 2, 2012) is also the date for a rally in support of farmer Montana Jones and her Shropshire sheep herd:

from the Facebook page “Save Our Shrops Rally”:

~ To Protest CFIA’s Slaughter of Rare Heritage Sheep ~

This coming Monday you are encouraged to come to Wholearth Farmstudio for the “Save Our Shropshires” (SOS) rally as a show of support and peaceable protest, to demonstrate your disapproval for the actions of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the draconian legislation that allows them to take such arbitrary and disproportionate measures as forcing the slaughter of apparently healthy heritage sheep.

Sadly, after two years of fighting to save my rare flock of Shropshires, CFIA has notified me they intend to destroy 41 of the flock—including 20 pregnant ewes and their unborn lambs—this Monday, April 2, 2012.

You are invited to please bring cameras, signs, banners, your voice of reason, flowers for the sheep’s grave. Be prepared for weather, and bring your own portable beverages and nourishment. All media are welcome.

In keeping with the somber nature of the event, I would like all attending please wear something black. This may be a traumatic day possibly involving graphic procedures and will not be suitable for children to attend. It could well be too much for adults.

The order was made under the federal government’s “scrapie eradication program.” Scrapie is an illness which affects the productivity and longevity of sheep but is not a human health risk.

None of my flock have tested positive for scrapie in live biopsies, but CFIA claim the 85% accuracy is not enough and want to kill them to test the obex brain tissue.

None of my animals show any clinical symptoms of the disease.

Nevertheless, the CFIA has ordered the sheep destroyed based merely on the “suspicion” of being contaminated. The CFIA has declined all alternative risk-control measures proposed by myself and my lawyer, Karen Selick of the Canadian Constitution Foundation.

In the most recent desperate proposal, I have pleaded with CFIA not to wipe them all out at once. I offered to sacrifice 21 of the sheep and hold back the 11 with the most significant historical genetics. I’ve asked them to consider re-evaluating the death sentence if the 21 brain tissues came back negative. I have had no response yet, but hold out hope at least those 11 individuals and their lambs could still be saved.

CFIA officials intend to kill the sheep with a barbiturate injection and I have insisted I be allowed to bury them respectfully here on the farm. They had planned to load them in a trailer and ship them to a deadstock and pet food facility near Ottawa. I won’t allow that kind of stress and disrespect for these beautiful animals.

Demonstrators are cautioned that under the Health of Animals Act, no person may “obstruct or hinder” a CFIA official in the performance of his duty, on penalty of up to 2 years’ imprisonment and fines of $250,000.

(We’d like an idea how many to expect….so please show your support by “Liking” our page, but only say “YES” if you are indeed attending…thank-you…)

WHEN: 8:00 am Monday, April 2, 2012

WHERE: Wholearth Farmstudio is located at RR#2, 143 Concession Road 14 East, Hastings (Trent Hills) Ontario (1/2 hour east of Peterborough, ½ hour north of Cobourg). See Google map link here: http://g.co/maps/m7knu

WEB: Please check http://ShropshireSheep.org/ for updates.

For further information, contact:

Montana Jones
Wholearth Farmstudio
farm@shropshiresheep.org

Karen Selick
Litigation Director
Canadian Constitution Foundation
Toll-free: 888-695-9105 x. 104
kselick@canadianconstitutionfoundation.ca

Web links:
• Shropshire Sheep and news on CFIA— http://shropshiresheep.org/
• Montana’s story on importance of heritage Shropshire sheep history—http://www.montanajones.com/writing/a-likeable-sheep/
• Rare Breeds Canada— http://www.rarebreedscanada.org/
• Wholearth Farmstudio—http://wholearth.com/
• Canadian Constitution Foundation— http://theccf.ca/

Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/ShropshireSheep

Twitter:
@WholearthFarms
#SaveOurShrops

(1/2 hour east of Peterborough, ½ hour north of Cobourg)
See Google map link here: http://g.co/maps/m7knu

7 Comments

Filed under News

7 responses to “CBC news: Slaughter looms for a rare sheep herd tomorrow / Rally April 2nd

  1. Montana, my heart goes out to you. What a sad, sad, state we find ourselves in, and what a terrible day it will be. If only…

  2. alikona77

    Is there anyone I can write to, I am in LA and can’t come to the protest. I’d like to speak up against this senseless act of cruelty,

  3. alikona77

    Is there anyone I can write to so that I may speak out against this senseless act of cruelty? We don’t put HIV victims up for slaughter, why would you do that to a soul that is unable to speak for itself?!? They aren’t contagious, leave them be.

  4. Alfredo Vazquez

    How abusive!!!

  5. I would be there if I could. A very wrong way to go about things. I don’t think I could be as peaceful as you are asking folks to be. Some things are just wrong and must be stopped at all most any cost.
    Keep up the fight!

    From some one who as been there.

  6. I am so sorry. If I lived closer I would have been there. Will you post what happened? Was your plea to let some live heeded?

  7. lynn

    Think that is really sad and wrong so sorry this world don`t think animal`s have right`s to and they do they need to stop this and if they don`t I`m so sorry for the poor baby`s wish I was there if it was me I would get them to be safety some where some how.

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