CFIA finds and kills rare heritage flock—ALL NEGATIVE for scrapie

CFIA test results are back…

ALL NEGATIVE for scrapie, as I knew they would be.

Killed for nothing, all those genetics gone.

I do not believe for a moment that the CFIA alleged 15S ewe was a true positive. She died here of toxemia, zero symptoms, in excellent body condition, assessed by CFIA vet Douglas MacLeod the day prior who concurred on her pregnancy related ailments.

CFIA desperately needed to claim a positive was in the flock to fight the judicial review about their actions against me and my flock. I and 5,000 other petitioners don’t buy it.

CFIA got their scapesheep in me, and in this beautiful flock.

CFIA thinks they’ve won because those sheep and their babies are dead.

But all of Canada has lost.

We’ve lost a huge part of our heritage livestock genetics, and we’ve lost even more faith in a government that is there to…to what?

This video was the last time I saw my flock alive {a few are still missing or dead} at Mirko Malish’s farm..I drove the 5 hours from Wholearth Farmstudio to see them.

At first the sheep did not see me there…I took this brief video by the fence, but was not allowed to go in or touch my own animals. Then a few turned when they heard my voice…I teared up when they recognized me, and my call, and came running to me out of the barn.

The sheep in the beginning on the right, and at the end of video her face is close-up on Avril 8N. She was very special and was in particularly rough shape…thin, and limped due to a tender, swollen inflamed udder and mastitis that I pointed out to CFIA vet who refused to look at it. She had no lambs with her and I suspect nobody treated her or milked her out, which caused the condition.

The flock was still unsheared despite the summer heat, so it’s hard from this footage to see that most were underweight as the wool hides it somewhat. Several had not yet lambed…three were in pretty good shape. I was not happy that all the mature rams were in with the newborns and getting stepped on and pushed around.

I got to Chesley at 6 AM, and waited the entire day to meet with CFIA, who sent word throughout the day via the OPP there, that CFIA were enroute to meet with me.

I kept asking were they really coming to meet with me? When CFIA finally arrived at 8:00PM that night it was to say they wouldn’t speak with me.

I told CFIA vet Dr. Nancy Brown a long list of my concerns and asked her to please try understand my position. How hard it was to be there, after everything, and see my beloved sheep in poor condition and pawing the ground looking for food, eating their bedding, knowing that no matter what, they were all about to be destroyed and I KNEW they did not have scrapie. She walked away and continued to ignore me. It was hard to be there knowing I was not permitted to care for my own animals and nobody “in charge” knew what was going on.

Then she dragged a few bales of hay out into the barnyard and said “Well he isn’t doing a very good job of looking after them. I told him to give them hay free choice,” to which I replied “Who, Mirko? From what he told me he’s not even here full time, and it was never his responsibility. It is CFIA responsibility…they’ve been under CFIA care all week. They are picking at their bedding because there is no hay and you’ve stopped them from going out on pasture.”

Then she just hissed at me…”You shouldn’t have posted that on Facebook.”

How could a passion for saving rare heritage breeds turn so sad and ugly? This could have happened to anybody. Everybody who wants to live a peaceful rural life working and and raising their own food.

How can we keep a tunnel-visioned government out of our lives, off our farms, off our property, off of our dinner plates, out of our lives and away from our food choices?

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.

10 thoughts on “CFIA finds and kills rare heritage flock—ALL NEGATIVE for scrapie

  1. Just stumbled on this story on the net due to a relative visiting Canada from Australia. As someone with a bit of knowledge of farming and sheep, it sounds to me like you have a government agency who has no idea how to run a quarantine system or a live biopsy process. My heart goes out to you. I find it sickening that these government types are given so much power with so little recourse from those whose lives they have destroyed. AND the sensless loss of such rare genetics is diabolical. Do they even know what they are dealing with when they kill this genetic line? Do they know how to run a quarantine system? Do they know how to conduct a risk assessment before just killing animals when just a suspicion of disease is present? Shameful and ignorant is the only way to describe it. It sounds to me that a rogue CFIA vet may be just saving themselves a bit of hard work by not doing what should be a standard protocol of “quarantine, test and confirm” if a disease is suspected. Imagine if this was the process with humans. Disease suspected, oh; just kill them and their family and maybe their neighbours for good measure.

  2. this is the most disgusting thing i have heard of.
    how can you destrol these beautifull animals without real proof of a disease.
    this is murder plain as that.
    in humain.
    out of control.
    power in the wrong hands.

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