Threatened rare sheep slaughter thwarted by theft of animals by “Farmers’ Peace Corps” group

From Mark Hoult, in 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….”

Read it all in the Community Press.

30 Comments

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30 responses to “Threatened rare sheep slaughter thwarted by theft of animals by “Farmers’ Peace Corps” group

  1. nedlud

    Selick kinda loses my support from time-to-time.

    The action was not good for the owner of course, IT WAS THEFT, and it is dangerous for the so-called ‘criminals’ involved, IT WAS THEFT!

    But hey, it really is about time people starting fighting back, HARD and with some serious MOXIE. Kinda like Michael Schmidt displayed when he thought he’d starve himself, if necessary. Kinda like a lot of things history has taught us to do, when dealing with oppressors and oppression.

    SO, IT WAS THEFT (OH, HOW AWFUL!), BUT OTHERWISE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN (state-sanctioned) MURDER. THINK ABOUT IT.

    (Might too, be a little more to this story than is being ‘reliably’/’honestly’ reported here. I hope so.)

  2. Marin Luther said “if you’re going to sin, sin boldly” … or, as the Scots said when the suffered under the English tyrants “may as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb”

    I suggest all-concerned read Romans 13, in the Bible … then start thinking for you-selves.
    there’s a very good chance, that, in light of this development and, seeing it in the context of many similar cases, you’ll come to a different understanding than that preached by your local state-licenced Baal-priest

  3. Bovine Editor: Lovely article . Nice to hear of such ingenious activism . I believe this link will take you directly to the article in question. The one above does not : http://www.communitypress.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3522550 .

  4. YAY! Let’s hear it for civil disobedience!

  5. This link works: http://www.communitypress.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3522550

    I want to start a USA chapter of Farmer’s Peace Corps. Who’s with me?

  6. nedlud

    Common law is common sense. Common law is applied by common man, practicing this common sense, which includes compassion and the recognition of other common (roughly equal) people, doing their thing and their right to do their thing. Sure there are ‘disagreements’ (I said roughly equal), but they are for the most part overcome, as a natural course in the workings of a greater and diverse whole, as common sense readily accepts and understands.

    No better system of government has ever been found, because all other forms of government lead to tyranny, regardless of the any fomal label and/or Constitution (set of regulations) that tyranny attempts to disguise, mislead and veil itself with.

    My thanks to the other commenters and to these ‘criminals’ (sheep thieves) in this report.

    Long live the workings, the freedoms, the sense of the common people!

    nedlud

  7. That was a brilliant chess move!! Now the trick is to keep them moving to avoid detection.
    I never did see why CFIA would not follow their own policy of allowing a herd to be quarantined for a long enough period to prove they are scrapies-free. The idea of crossing them with other possibly scrapies suseptible geneotypes as CFIA has suggested would remove the scrapies resistance in the herd. They sure don’t know what they are talking about.

  8. Patric Lyster

    The trick is that if they are scrapie positive, they are potentially going to infect a large number of sheep. But hey, who cares about any of the other sheep farmers, just as long as Montana Jones gets her wish.
    Perhaps i should be able carry around a little bit of Anthrax virus in a glass bottle. If it never gets out, fine. But what happens if it does? Would you all sooner that it was a case of don’t do anything until after the fact?
    I feel for the flock owner, but sometimes people need to learn that the world does not revolve around them and that their actions can affect a lot more than just themselves.
    There are a number of things that are done that do restrict what we can do. There are a number of them which are put in place as preventative measures. Should we not worry about trying to stop any disease from potentially affecting animals in Canada/ Should we just allow in foot and mouth, or some other such disease, because one person is more important than the rest of the farmers. I know what dealing with this means, but I also know the consequences of ignoring disease.
    In this case, she was given an option which would allow preservation of genetics and still allow the testing (ultimately) to ensure the disease was not being harbored in her flock. She refused. That is her choice. But, I do not feel that she should have the right to potentially put many other sheep producers flocks at risk.

    • Patrick
      I think if you do you due diligence that you will see that this is NOT about scrapies, it is about destroying small farms, UN agenda 21, and crippling
      our ability to resist a one world government by destroying our capability to feed ourselves.

      • Joan Sheppard

        I agree with Patrick and if you check out the original results of the first sheep tested in Alberta, it only showed the possibility of scrappies and did not confirm scrappie.
        I am reminded of a famous quote.
        First they came for the sheep and I didn’t speak up
        Then they came for our land and I didn’t speak up
        Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak up for me

  9. Patric Lyster

    I operate a small farm and so, I would venture as much as she is trying to make it about everything else, it is still about scrapie. Was she complaining about all the other issues prior to this? Was she asking for people to send money to pay to feed her animals before?
    I thinkk that if you wish to believe this is about all the other things, then you are not seeing the whole picture.
    If you would do your due diligence, you would know exactly why I say that it is not about a whole lot more. If you look, you will find that Shropshire shep are not raised by the large and or factory farms, so putting other Shropshire sheep at risk, only has the potential to harm the small farmers.
    If you would like to believe it is all about other stuff, then fight it on a different front, don’t try to fight it on a front that has the potential to harm more small farmers than it will ever help.

  10. Patric:
    She’s not trying to make it about anything else. Shrops are endangered and the shepherd has said repeatedly that its in her best interest to eradicate scrapie in Canada, and she’s been complicit to the letter since the Quarantine was implemented. All she was asking for was discretion, caution and due dilligence on the part of the CFIA. On repeated occasions the government agency has demonstrated a lack of organization, consistency or openness to her requests.
    Ms. Jones was even willing to sacrifice a few of the 41, and did cull 10 the week prior, in a gesture of cooperation, and in the hopes that they would do interim testing prior to a total cull of her flock, and the CFIA stone-walled her.
    Further, she had absolutely nothing to do with the removal of the sheep from the property. Suggesting otherwise is nothing more than speculation and is useless.
    And if you run a small farm I’m disappointed that you don’t see how the impact of heavy handed regulations hurt us all, nor how slap-shod science and actions based on fear threaten every single small producer. Who will stand at your gate and rally when someone or some agency decides your farm doesn’t cut the mustard anymore?

    • “she had absolutely nothing to do with the removal of the sheep from the property. Suggesting otherwise is nothing more than speculation and is useless.”

      Actually, it’s called “libel,” and it could cause you a world of hurt.

      Play nice in the sandbox, kids.

  11. Awake

    Best to all on this Good Friday,

    Where is the evidence? There seems to be NO evidence of this supposed scrapie and the agency seems to be violating its own guidelines and regulations concerning the quarantine of the animals.

    The justification for killing the animals seems to be based on pure speculation, without any actual proof of the alleged illness. In fact, the proof seems to indicate that there is NO scrapie in these sheep, since the 5 year incubation period of the illness has expired.

    What is going on here?

  12. Confused

    Mr. Lyster,

    Why have you not responded to Ms. Jones to your personal attack elsewhere – http://agro.biodiver.se/2011/12/how-endangered-are-shropshire-sheep/#comment-1046044.

    You seem to have a personal vendetta against Ms. Jones.

    • Lorri Nelson

      I think it may surprise you to know that life goes on. We don’t sit at our computers all day surfing the net trying to find every comment Ms Jones posts. Generally, we stumble across them, a week or more later. There are some detailed responses here, at a different article. Find them. What you read may surprise you. Of course, if you don’t want to hear the rest of the story, there is nothing we can do about that. But you have to realize this is not about a vendetta. Well, it may be for Ms Jones, I don’t know, it certainly would appear so. But for us, it is simply about the public having all the facts available.
      Much of what we have posted on her website was either never posted, or the posts we responded to were edited before our responses were posted. Everything we posted on the SOS facebook page was deleted. If you choose only to believe what she and her lawyer put out there, fine, that is your choice. But you deserve to know the whole story.
      It also may interest you to know that Patric had a lot of sheep destroyed. I had some destroyed as well. So did some other producers. And he never once tried to pass the buck back to Ms Jones, he never even told people where the sheep came from. However, she posted his farm name right on her website. By casting doubt on the identification of the ewe and Mr Lyster’s ethics, she has harmed his reputation as a breeder in the eyes of a lot of other sheep producers. (I wish we would hear from some other producers on the subject of this scrapie investigation.)
      We were able to save a lot of the genetics by breeding our QQ ewes to our RR rams. We came through a scrapie case older and wiser. Together we have learned a lot, and gotten through some tough stuff both sheep-related and not. And you know what? We’re still standing. We have a lovely flock of Shropshire sheep and we are not getting out of them anytime soon. Yes, you’d better believe they are rare. But they will survive.
      Lastly, if there is one thing people come away from all this with, I hope it is this: it is highly possible that her beloved bloodlines are now gone forever. Wherever the sheep are, it is not likely that another of their lambs will ever be registered again. When/if they are found, ask yourselves this: are they properly identified? How do you prove how many lambs those pregnant ewes had? How do you prove which lambs belong to which ewes and which ram(s) sired them? The only way really would be DNA parentage testing. Ms Jones would have to foot the bill for that. So if all of those hoops are not successfully jumped through, what does it mean for the future of those bloodlines? It really would seem that they have come to the end of the line. If so, what difference does it make to preserving heritage genetics if the sheep are destroyed? From a fellow Shropshire breeder, let me tell you, that is very very sad. The opportunity was there to save the genetics, and it was refused. It really looks like it has gone too far now, even keeping the sheep alive would not help because it would be a mammoth task to get the flock to the point that lambs could be registered again.
      And in the meantime, before you say it has not been proven there is any scrapie in that flock, remember this- it has not been proven that there isn’t any scrapie in that flock. if you were a sheep producer, would YOU want those sheep lambing on your farm?

      • Lorri {and Patric}: I’ve reiterated I have no personal issue with either of you…am still mystified how you have twisted and misinterpreted the actual events. I was asked by lawyer to remove your comments posted in the interest of being transparent…and they were mostly assumptions not fact, and reduced to schoolyard squabbling, which I don’t think anyone has time nor interest to read. You continued to ignore all my detailed answers and kept reposting everywhere this issue arose in the media…so perhaps you doth protest too much i.e. “We don’t sit at our computers all day surfing the net trying to find every comment”.
        I have never said anything against “the gentleman who bought the ewes in Alberta.” It was another person who posted about Patric management methods and that is up to him to defend, not me. Patric himself announced he was the person who had the infected sheep—I did not. I only ask that it be identified as mine. The pink traceability ear tag that was on it when it left here was not submitted as I.D. to CFIA with the sample tissue for testing. Of course I want that addressed. And a local newspaper close to you wrote it up when they destroyed a few of your sheep…so it was public then. I tried to stop that kill too, as he will recall.

        Scrapie can hit any flock. Finger pointing doesn’t have a place in it. I want to know IF it is in my flock. Period. I am in support of eradicating it in Canada. I am NOT in agreement with eradicating heritage bloodlines of sheep that dont have it. You don’t know the facts about my flock, my lines, my identification system..etc…it’s all your own ramped up speculation, and your rant is simply not factual. Your statements are verging on libel so please exercise caution. Patric already received a legal letter asking him to cease and desist and you may apparently now be taking up his case. Just take care. I have no argument with you, or him…I am just intent on asking that a government body slow down and reexamine their protocol to ensure it is sound and makes sense with a view to preserving our heritage lines, and with a view to what small producers and small farms really want…in other words…Careful consideration of every person’s right to individual expression and freedom. I’m just not a fan of government bulldozing over us with an outdated policy, especially when it means killing off most of a breed whose genetics they claim they wish to preserve.

      • Confused

        Ms. Nelson,

        You’re right that we don’t sit at our computers all day surfing the net so it’s a bit hard to find the rest of the story that you allude to when you don’t post a link to the detailed responses that you mention. I’m interested in facts, not slurs and innuendo, so please post any links that you have to facts.

      • Lorri Nelson

        To Confused- the response is right here on the Bovine site, on one of the other articles. I would think you could navigate around one website well enough to find it yourself. I’m not spoon-feeding it to you.

        To Montana-I think if you go back and read what I wrote, you will see I have never once commented on your flock or your lines, beyond genotype. And to say finger-pointing has no place is odd, considering the stuff you have posted and said publicly. And yes, another person did post about Patric’s management, on YOUR website. You should have responded immediately, on behalf of ALL sheep producers, including yourself, that scrapie is not caused by management practices. Instead you let it stand. People then could read it and those who don’t understand the disease believed it, and formed misinformed opinions. Then finally after posting Patric’s response, you edited the original post. It is your website. You have the power to rebut any post. It was and is a very low blow to leave those kind of comments up. To accuse Patric of misidentifying the sheep. To accuse him of falsifying records. The sheep traced back to your farm. You have to deal with it. You can’t just turn around and say, no it didn’t, he’s lying.
        Sadly, you really never answered any of my questions. You just respond to all our posts by saying we post lies, gossip, misinformation. But you rarely actually respond to any of our specific points. You avoid anything that doesn’t support your cause. And that’s okay. Your back’s against the wall, your beloved sheep are gone, I wouldn’t trade you places. But again, all you had to do was drop the accusations, refute a few comments. You could have simply left all that stuff out of it, but you chose to make terrible accusations. Can’t blame a guy for standing up for himself.
        As for me, I give up. I’m tired of the whole thing. I don’t know you personally, I wish you no ill will, I hope you can rebuild your flock back to something like it was before. This could go round and round forever, and I’m not interested. I’m going to try my best to bow out of the debate. My concern now is for the other sheep producers who may end up having to deal with the fallout.

  13. I think this type of civil disobedience is exactly what’s needed to change our small farm laws – if there is no scrapie. If there is, we still need the scrapie laws to change but make them more like those in Iceland.

    I must confess to a bit of fatigue and continually reading that Shrops are endangered – it’s a bit of a shell game. They’re considered a minority breed in their home – the UK – and they’re recovering in the US. Yes, they’re critical in Canada (from whence this flock originates) and no, that’s not great as they were an important animal in the process of colonization and that’s not the same as endangered.

    https://www.rbst.org.uk/sheep-information

  14. confused

    New Zealand – “Today Shropshires are one of the rarest breeds in the country at http://www.rarebreeds.co.nz/shropshire.html and Australia – “Shropshires are now endangered in Australia” at http://www.nattrust.com.au/places_to_visit/geelong_the_west/nehill_brothers_farm/shropshire_sheep

    And it would seem that US shropshires have had a great deal of “improving” – http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/shropshire/index.htm

  15. Actually the heritage Shropshire sheep is NOT recovering in the United States by any means…American breeders have been contacting me for years trying to get my old genetics. They’re in hopes their border would soon be open to receiving breeding stock, as outs is now open again to receive theirs. Sadly…there is apparently a resurgence in popularity for Shropshire “club lambs” ..however they, according to many breeders, judges and authorities..are not in fact Shropshires, but are the product of crossing in other breeds such as Hampshire/Oxford and Suffolk. Have a look…they are completely different creatures to these http://www.montanajones.com/writing/a-likeable-sheep/

    So YES heritage Shropshires ARE INDEED ENDANGERED…they are still rare in Australia and New Zealand as well and in the U.K. there are more and more breeders taking an interest in preserving the genetics. Here in Canada there was/is that interest from a growing number of small scale famers who are also intent on genetic diversity and using heirloom veg and heritage breed livestock…….now the CFIA news may have scared away some folks who were keen on having Shropshires, as they may not understand the case in depth.

    • jwondering888@gmail.com

      “American breeders have been contacting me for years trying to get my old genetics. They’re in hopes their border would soon be open to receiving breeding stock, as outs is now open again to receive theirs. ”

      Well, I think we can safely say that the Farmers Peace Corps theft has safely ensured that the border will never be opened. Just because you don’t believe in the rules, doesn’t mean that they don’t have to be followed.

      • “Just because you don’t believe in the rules, doesn’t mean that they don’t have to be followed.”

        To the back of the bus, Rosa Parks!

        “That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government.” — US Declaration of Independence

        Note also the concept of “jury nullification,” in which a jury can decide that, although it is clear someone broke the law, they are held innocent because the law is unjust.

        Those who believe in the inviolate authority of law should be very careful lest they run afoul of it.

  16. I hope where ever those sheep were taken to can never be found.

  17. BC Food Security

    I have a humble suggestion. Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on detectives and investigations trying to track down the harmless , rare Shropshire sheep why not direct some of that money instead to assisting Montana Jones with the next phase of her career and livelihood ? The truth is that the “justice system” will probably spend $2 million or $3 million dollars to achieve even more of the same insanity. Of course “ju$tice” is a means to an end in itself. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ !!!!!!

  18. Confused

    Ms. Nelson,

    Well, I had a go at trying to find your facts without your help. I checked posts and comments for all the tags on this post and only came up with more of the same from you and Mr. Lyster. So much for that effort. You and Mr. Lyster want support and yet the optics of how you go about getting it are terrible. Having said that, when the CFIA goons show up at your door again and do to you what they have done to Montana Jones, I will support you as I have supported Montana Jones. It’s not about the pissing match; it’s about the government goons.

    Best of luck.

    • Lorri Nelson

      We don’t need support. We’ve had the CFIA at our doors already. Because Patric bought that sheep. It’s not about the government goons. It’s about the sheep. Period. As I said before, I’m bowing out of the debate. You yourself probably don’t raise sheep. Therefore your opinion, for all practical purposes, if of little value.

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