Did infected sheep come from U.S.?

This was the story from February 2015 that appeared around the time of the start of pre-trial hearings in the sheep-napping conspiracy case involving Michael Schmidt and Montana Jones. Once the presiding judge slapped a publication ban on the proceedings, the National Post took down this story. But now that the case is closed — it was thrown out due to having taken too long to come to trial — reporters can again report on it, and the National Post have put the story back up.

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Montana Jones and one of her threatened Shropshires, earlier on in the long saga. This photo from Ursula Fugger (Shropshiresheep.org) was used in the National Post story.

From Adrian Humphreys in the National Post:

“The bizarre case of a flock of rare sheep — purportedly stolen from an Ontario farm by agricultural activists to thwart a federal kill order during a disease scare — was adjourned after government documents suggested the infected sheep that sparked the high-profile standoff could have actually been an animal from the United States.

Internal documents from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) also suggest workers may have tried to cover up any potential mistake or withheld information from its own reports, defence lawyers complain.

However, until more of the government’s records on the controversial case are released, it is difficult to know precisely what has gone on since 2010, when a sheep tested positive for scrapie, a degenerative disease in sheep similar to the “mad cow disease” that affects cattle.

Whether the diseased sheep came from the Ontario ewe, as the CFIA publicly says, or an American ram, as documents in court suggest it was once thought, is important not only for the criminal case but also for cross-border agricultural trade…”

Read more in the National Post

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