“Anyone who has ever been baffled by the bureaucratic mindset must be shaking their heads in amazement regarding what is currently happening at Wholearth Farms in Trent Hill.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has decided to destroy 41 rare Shropshire sheep owned by Wholearth owner Montana Jones because one of her sheep tested positive for scrapie, a fatal, degenerative disease that affects the nervous systems of sheep and goats.
That test came after a single member of the flock was sold to an Alberta farm in 2007 and, three years later, tested positive for scrapie. The farm has been under quarantine ever since and to date no new cases of scrapie have been discovered.
According to Health Canada, there is no known link between scrapie and human health. However, CIFA “is committed” to eradicating scrapie to protect livestock health.
It’s policy, based on “internationally accepted science,” is that when an animal is identified with scrapie, all the animals that were exposed to the same birthing environment and are deemed at risk to developing the disease are ordered destroyed.
The problem here is that — besides the fact that no more cases of scrapie have been discovered in the flock — there are fewer than 170 Shropshire sheep in Canada. Jones has about half of those, with more than half her flock — including five of the country’s 21 remaining rams — slated for slaughter. That group includes 20 pregnant ewes and their unborn lambs.
Jones says if her 41 sheep are destroyed, only 107 registered breeding females, 38 ewe lambs and 16 rams would be left in Canada.
In other words, in order to save sheep, CIFA is willing to seriously endanger an entire breed of sheep in this country….”