This letter was sent to the CFIA on August 31st on Montana Jones’ account, by her lawyer, Karen Selick, litigation director of the Canadian Constitution Foundation. As of Sept 5, no answer has yet been received.
Inspector Duane Boyd attended at Ms. Jones’ home on August 29 and informed her that he intended to kill four of her lambs that day. For reasons which are not clear to us, he failed to conduct the euthanization that day. Perhaps it was the arrival of the cameras from CHEX-TV that dissuaded him.
We have no idea what the CFIA’s intentions may be at this point, but obviously the element of surprise is gone. We suspect that perhaps CFIA staff are planning to re-attend at the farm over the upcoming Labour Day weekend when they think Ms. Jones will be less able to contact her lawyer, the media, and supportive friends.
Three of the four lambs slated for destruction are male. Males are at virtually no risk of transmitting scrapie. In fact, these lambs are so young that, as your personnel well know, scrapie testing cannot even be done on them. They would all test negative if they were killed and tested. Furthermore, the likelihood of their being infected is slim, given that all the other Wholearth ARQ/ARQ sheep that have been killed and tested by the CFIA this year were negative.
The CFIA previously said it would co-operate to save the rare genes of the sheep it killed. However, no genes were actually saved from the most highly treasured sheep, the male WHE Fitz 34R, which was killed in Chesley and left to be buried there. Much of the other genetic material that was salvaged was handled in such a hasty and inexpert manner that its future usability is questionable.
Ms. Jones advises that all four “death-row” lambs are the offspring of WHE Fitz 34R whose genetics she is most concerned about saving. There can be no harm in allowing these sheep—or at least, the three males—to remain alive on the farm until they are old enough to breed with the few remaining adults ewes that are of the ARR genotype. This would allow Ms. Jones to salvage “Fitz’s” genes, all of which would otherwise be lost. There would be little danger of breeding any more susceptible ARQ/ARQ sheep since the ewes that would be impregnated are ARR. (Ms. Jones’ full records have been seized so she can’t consult them, but no doubt your vets can confirm this themselves.)
In the alternative, the four lambs should be allowed to mature sufficiently that their ovaries and testes could be preserved carefully and effectively in the gene bank.
The CFIA seems to fear that if it leaves the sheep on the farm, they will disappear as the other 31 did in April. However, if Ms. Jones had had any intention of making these sheep disappear, she would have done it long ago. It was not hard to predict that the CFIA’s next move would be to kill the lambs born this year.
Like the CFIA, Ms. Jones wishes to ensure that these lambs do NOT disappear from the farm. If you are so concerned, you can post whatever guard or sentry you wish outside her farm.
There seemed to be some confusion on the part of CFIA inspectors when they attended at the farm on August 2 with their search warrant, so let us clarify certain facts. Photography and videography of public employees executing their duty is not illegal. So long as the landowner consents to the presence of the videographers on her land, and so long as they don’t obstruct the CFIA personnel in executing their duties, there is no reason why the media and Ms. Jones’ friends cannot attend and video the event and post those videos to the internet.
Furthermore, we wish to make it clear that we will be publicizing the contents of this letter. We want Canadians to know that Ms. Jones continues to offer reasonable alternatives to the CFIA’s policy of destroying healthy animals of rare genetic stock, merely because of their genotype.