We’ve gone a long time without much overt legal sparring in the Canadian raw milk and food rights scene. But that’s soon to change as raw milk farmer Michael Schmidt heads to court later this month to face charges of conspiracy in connection with the disappearance of a herd of controversial heritage sheep that were under quarantine by the CFIA.
Also charged in connection with the same incident are Suzanne Atkinson, Robert Pinnell, and Montana Jones (owner of the sheep). The case will be heard January 23rd in Cobourg. Charges include conspiracy to defraud the public, obstructing a CFIA inspector and transportation of an animal under quarantine. Unlike previous charges related to raw milk, these are criminal charges, and not mere regulatory offenses.
Meanwhile, in British Columbia, Michael Schmidt is due to appear in court in Richmond B.C. in February to face charges of contempt of court. The hearing is scheduled from February 13th to 15th. The charge relates to a cowshare operation Michael took over in Chilliwack B.C., which was originally called “Home on the Range”. When he took over the farm, Michael changed the name to “Our Cows” and designated the products as cosmetics, made available only to members of the farm’s cowshare group.
Back in Ontario, Michael has been granted leave to appeal his conviction related to the sale and distribution of raw milk in connection with the cowshare operation based on Glencolton Farms in Grey County near Durham Ontario. That appeal will be heard at Osgoode Hall in Toronto. Although no firm date has been set, spring of 2013 seems likely.