“…It would be nice if such matters were a subject for public discussion. But in Canada and the U.S., the regulator approach is brutally simple: We know best and we’ll decide what to do and everyone better listen to us…or else.
Ontario raw dairy farmer Michael Schmidt is simply seeking an avenue for discussion about an aspect of this issue that could be sensitive but important to many farmers and consumers alike–the wholesale elimination of rare sheep species, without consideration of possibly alternative avenues of investigation. He is prepared to accept destruction of the animals if they are actually found to be harboring disease.
BUT, as in the case of raw milk, he’s unwilling to accept a dictatorial approach, with no provision for serious public consideration or discussion of ways to simultaneously ensure public safety, while protecting animals whose heritage is endangered. In Schmidt’s view, it’s a situation not all that different from what’s been happening in Michigan, with the wholesale destruction of heritage breeds ofpigs.
So the authorities threaten Schmidt with violations of laws regarding obstructing inspectors and moving animals under quarantine, including conspiracy charges. (See the page above, from the search warrant used last Friday to carry out an all-day search of his farm; RobertPinnell, who is mentioned in the warrant, is a founder of the Practical Farmers of Ontario, which was formed last spring; Miro Malish is owner of the Ontario farm where authorities eventually found many of the disputed sheep, which had been moved from Montana Jones’ farm.)
Schmidt’s response? “I most likely will be charged for conspiracy. Who is in fact conspiring? Those who destroy the genetic pool and approve GMO corn , soy, alfalfa…..”
He challenges those who sympathize with him: “Are we mentally prepared to face the reality of severe punishment? Raising the awareness through actions, not any more talk.”
His prediction? “To turn the tide, public debate now in the courtroom instead of parliament, because of biased politicians.”