American raw milk journalist and food rights champion David E. Gumpert is following the case with interest, as evidenced by a recent post on his “The Complete Patient” blog. See excerpt below:
“In Canada, Stage Set for Food Rights Show Trial”
“That sheep-napping case involving Canadian farmers Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones is turning into a major criminal and political drama.
If you’ll remember, this case stems from a 2010 dispute between the Canadian government and farm owenr Montana Jones over whether her rare Shropshire sheep should be slaughtered because they were supposedly exposed to the serious disease, scrapie. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, insisted the sheep needed to be slaughtered to determine for certain whether they harbored scrapie. Jones insisted there was no evidence they did, and sought to negotiate a compromise whereby her farm would be quarantined for up to five years to be certain.
The CFIA refused to bend. When its agents arrived in 2012, the sheep had disappeared, with only a note left behind that the sheep had been placed in “protective custody” by something called the “Farmers Peace Corps.”
Schmidt has said he, Jones, and two others “have been charged with conspiracy for attempting to save a rare heritage sheep.” Actually, there were four charges—two of conspiracy and two related to violating CFIA orders.…”
Read the whole story on The Complete Patient blog.
From Wikipedia: “A show trial is a public trial in which there is a strong connotation that the judicial authorities have already determined the guilt of the defendant. The actual trial has as its only goal to present the accusation and the verdict to the public as an impressive example and as a warning to other would-be dissidents or transgressors. Show trials tend to be retributive rather than correctional justice and also conducted forpropagandistic purposes. The term was first recorded in the 1930s.”