Yesterday, Michael Schmidt appeared in court in Cobourg to face criminal charges related to the disappearance of Montana Jones’ flock of heritage Shropshire sheep which the CFIA had placed under quarantine and were planning to slaughter for testing. Montana Jones is also among the three others charged with conspiracy in this case.
Some months after their disappearance, most of the missing sheep were discovered, then slaughtered by the CFIA, and found to be not infected with the dread Scrapie, a disease in sheep that’s similar to mad cow in cattle. The CFIA had been particularly suspicious of Montana’s flock because their genotype supposedly made them more susceptible to the disease, and because a sheep that was originally from Montana’s flock was, some years later, connected with the disease.
All of Michael’s previous charges up until now, relating to raw milk, have been for regulatory offenses. These, on the other hand, are criminal charges. If convicted, he could be sent to jail for many years. Which would be have a serious impact on his ability to continue to promote the raw milk cause in Canada. There’s been nothing we’ve seen in the media lately by way of coverage of Michael’s court appearance. Perhaps Cobourg was too far for reporters to travel to from wherever they’re based.
Meanwhile, as is being reported elsewhere, Michael, along with west-coast raw milk activist Gordon Watson, will be appearing in court out in B.C. in mid February to face charges of contempt relating to the operation of the Home on the Range / Our Cows cowshare farm in Chilliwack B.C. Michael took over as agister there when the former agister, Alice Jongerden, was ordered by the court to cease and desist her raw milk distribution to cow share members.
THIS JUST IN: The hearing of the sheep napping conspiracy case will continue in Cobourg on March 27th, 2013.