“Ontario Provincial Police and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are looking for a flock of sheep that has disappeared from a southeastern Ontario farm under quarantine for scrapie.
The CFIA said in a release Monday that the animals in question are “suspected of having scrapie,” a federally reportable nerve disease related to BSE in cattle and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in people.
The sheep were found to be missing the same day 41 of the “apparently healthy” animals, including 20 pregnant ewes, were scheduled to be destroyed by CFIA order. That’s according to an earlier release from Karen Selick, a lawyer for the Calgary-based Canadian Constitution Foundation, representing producer Montana Jones.
Local media show Jones’ farm at Trent Hills, about 50 km east of Peterborough, has attracted a number of protesters urging a reprieve for the sheep.
According to a news report Monday from Peterborough TV station CHEX, an unknown party took a number of the sheep from Jones’ barn sometime between Sunday evening and Monday morning and left a note saying the animals were in “protective custody.”
All of the condemned animals tested by CFIA previously tested negative for scrapie in live biopsies, and none of the animals had shown clinical symptoms of the disease in the 12 years Jones has raised sheep, the foundation previously alleged….”
“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’ Belleville 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.”
The Belleville lawyer and civil libertarian advocate formerly made headlines by representing raw milk producer and seller Michael Schmidt.
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.”…”