Killing pregnant sheep—What would you do?


There will be no heritage spring lambs if CFIA kills my pregnant mothers.  It’s down to the wire. The CFIA government wolves are closing in on the flock, snapping at their heels, almost within reach of their throats.  They are about to serve an “Order of Destruction” to kill my beautiful pregnant ewes, who are ready to lamb come spring… Over 2,700 signatures on our petition to stop CFIA  means people ARE concerned about this irrational irreversible decision…so I’m asking your opinion. I realize not everyone knows the in depth details of each position, but I’m going to keep it simple. My goal is that CFIA listens to my reasonable request to an alternative solution that keeps the sheep alive while we work together to discover IF any scrapie actually exists in the flock. They wish to kill the sheep to do a more definitive test to see if the disease exists in their brain stem, because all live tests have proven negative and the sheep have exhibited NO SYMPTOMS.

I know most of you are not shepherds who have tended a flock for 12 years preserving their rare genetics, but you have hearts and souls and enthusiasm in your own lives about your own varied passions. You likely already know how you’d respond faced with a great injustice.  What you would do standing in these shoes…er… rubber boots?

Some of  your suggestions are below, and I’d like a peek into the collective mind to see this in a grouplight…I invite more of your comments below…

1—Rally all friends, supporters, media, video crews on D-Day to come hug a sheep in OccupyWholearth —>This would be on the day CFIA intends to come euthanize the HEALTHY PREGNANT SHEEP by barbiturate injection, then cut off their heads and leave their lovely wooly decapitated bodies in the barynard for a traumatized owner (me) to deal with. A crowd may deter them temporarily, or they may proceed irregardless.

2—Move the sheep to protect them —> Get arrested, fined and/or jailed

3—Whatever…Let CFIA destroy them and move on. In the end who cares, they are just sheep, even if they are rare and will be closer to extinction. There are other, far more important issues in our lives.

4—What would you do?  Offer a suggestion in comments below….

Montana Jones
Montana is a watcher of whales, saver of turtles, wayfarer and shepherd. She is a writer, photographer, art farmist and was formerly a magazine art director, media coordinator, journalist and past winner of the Sutton Agricultural Fair Spelling Bee. She tends an oversized garden, eats real food and raises Shropshire sheep and other heritage livestock on Wholearth Farmstudio in Northumberland County, Ontario Canada. She received a CBC Literary Award, Ontario Arts Council Writer’s Reserve Grant, and has appeared in EnRoute, Mind’s Eye, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, Canadian Women Studies Literary Journal, Watershed Magazine and Edible Toronto.

9 thoughts on “Killing pregnant sheep—What would you do?

  1. It is so so wrong. We need to rally the forces and get some prominent persons to come on by. I know you have a done a great job of getting the word out. Now to get the people out for an Occupy Day at the very least. I have signed and am sharing again. Will take a petition to Seedy Saturday tomorrow.

  2. I will be there for a protest in a heartbeat. And if it were my flock, at least five of the healthiest of them would have already mysteriously disappeared. I am so disgusted this awful situation. I cannot begin to imagine what you must be going through, but my support has been with you since I first read of this atrocity.

  3. I honestly don’t know what I’d do – but it would involve the media – have you called CHEX yet? talked to the local provincial vets? offer quarrantines? offer a select number of the herd for brain stem testing to see if a sampling would give them their answers? proof of the SUPPOSED scrapie and ask for verified paperwork – so that your herd doesn’t die for an overborder coverup? what about a bait and switch herd?

  4. Montana,
    There is no science here, just bureaucratic stupidity! Such a sensless act, with no basis or reason, It is heartless to think that in the name of science, sheep, heavy with lambs will be destroyed, and the aftermath left for the shepherd, (the one who works so very hard each day to nurture and love) to clean up their mess! Then they will tell her what she has said all along…………there is no scrapie in this flock!!! Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrggghh!

  5. I can’t believe you have to deal with this..
    As a rare breed livestock farmer with a rare breed of sheep living on our farm I cannot imagine going through this.
    My heart bleeds for you.
    I support you 100% and I really hope you get justice for your flock.

  6. What ever happened to options and negotiaitions…? There is a tremendous oportunity to turn this into a learning experience. To cull a heritage breed flock is just inhumane plain and simple.

  7. Same thing happened to over 400 head of my mother’s cattle herd. One bull was said to have tested positive for TB. Years later CFIA told them that the results were inconclusive (or wrong!). It was too late, animals destroyed, income lost, hearts broken. They didn’t care. They said they were doing their job. No wonder the government is doing away with CFIA! Best of luck to you in you battle!

  8. I probably shouldn’t be surprised that your lawyer has not been effective. At this very late stage maybe all you can do is ensure there will be good quality video and audio footage of the anticipated incident (will local media be attending?), demand that each government agent identify themselves on camera by name, job title, work contact information and to give you their business card if possible. Make them prove that they are who they say they are. Tell them you will hold each personally responsible and liable for the destruction of your property. You should figure out what you consider to be just compensation for the loss of your property/stock by their hand and make sure they are aware of this before they set foot on your land. This would be something like a fee schedule and it might help to have multiple paper copies of it to issue one to each agent. If they go ahead with their intentions, you and others need to witness everything they do and write up an affidavit of the events as soon as is practical. This will give you the option of lawfully pursuing these thugs for the damage they intend to do to you. If you have a good relationship with a local peace officer it wouldn’t hurt to also have them present – even if you can only get them to attend as another witness, it might help the thugs to remember some of their manners.

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