“On December 5, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) issued a press release announcing that charges had been laid against CCF clients Montana Jones and Michael Schmidt in relation to the disappearance of sheep from Montana’s quarantined farm. Here’s a link to the release.
Among other things, the CFIA states that it has “the full support of the Canadian sheep industry” to administer Canada’s Scrapie Eradication Program. This is false.
In a meeting between Montana Jones and four CFIA representatives held on November 15, 2011 (tape-recorded by Montana with the consent of everyone present), CFIA veterinarian Noel Harrington volunteered the information that whenever there is a highly publicized spike in scrapie cases, “…the next two years nobody wants to report a case because of the bad economics of that so all of a sudden you have two years of very few cases.”
In other words, farmers prefer to “shoot, shovel and shut up” rather than submit to the draconian requirements of the CFIA’s program after witnessing the program’s destructive effects on fellow farmers. Does that sound to you like the program has the “full support of the sheep industry”?
The CFIA’s repeated claim that it has the “full support of the sheep industry” has irked me ever since I first became involved in this case as Montana Jones’ lawyer, because I was hearing from farmers across the country who were saying the opposite. Therefore, in August, 2012, I sent an Access to Information request asking the CFIA to provide all documents in its possession indicating how it ascertained that it has such support. I also asked for documents that might indicate any dissension among sheep farmers….”