Monday, February 23, 2015


How much stuff did you hide today?
This is a very convoluted case involving the CFIA's attempt to seize a herd of sheep from Ontario farmer Montana Jones on the grounds that a sheep that had tested positive for scrapie came from her flock.  When the CFIA went to seize the herd to destroy the animals, all the sheep had been moved.  This resulted in spin-off investigations and charges against Michel Schmidt, an Ontario Farmer who had previously been dragged before the courts for distributing raw milk, and Suzanne Atkinson, a journalist with Ontario Farmer.  Atkinson recently entered a guilty plea to charges of transporting a quarantined animal and received a period of probation - Schmidt's trial is underway on the more serious charges of obstructing of a CFIA inspector, conspiracy to transport an animal under quarantine and conspiracy to defraud the public of a service over $5,000.

Now, the smelly stuff has hit the CFIA's fan.  An internal (and eternally honest) CFIA source has come forth with evidence that the CFIA targeted Jones and her herd of Shropshires even though it had ample evidence that the infected animal (which may have in fact been a Dorset, not a Shropshire) did not come from the Jones herd, and, that the federal agency knowingly continued with its persecution of Jones et al and withheld this evidence from the lawyers representing the accused parties, and presumably, the Crown Attorney who is prosecuting the case. 

Jim Romahn has this (very) condensed version of this story on his Agri007 blog: 

"Buckley (Schmidt's lawyer) now also has a report prepared by CFIA investigator Mark Murdoch that raises a number of questions about the way the CFIA handled the case.
There appears to be a great deal of uncertainty about the origins of the sheep that tested positive for scrapie in Alberta.
The CFIA says the sheep came from the flock of Shropshires at the farm of Montana Jones in Ontario.
But the CFIA documents indicate that it might have been a ram imported from the United States.
Buckley says the CFIA is unable to document the taking and handling of the samples that were tested for DNA. Nor is it providing the name of the person or people who took the sample and sent it for testing, so he isn’t able to cross-examine on that issue."
An emergency court session has been scheduled later this morning in an Ontario Court to deal with this sudden turn of events. 
I would strongly suggest that if you have any lambs you want to export to the U.S or abroad, to get your exporting done ASAP.  Once the news of our CFIA's ineptitude gets out, wouldn't it be simple due diligence for the US and other countries to impose import restrictions on Canadian sheep?


  1. Looks like cfia pulled the wool over their own eyes

  2. We sit back and shake our heads in disbelief when the incompetent Mexican police screw up the murder investigation of a Canadian tourist, and we get angry when the Egyptians hold one of our citizens on trumped up charges of treason. But here it is in our own backyard and I'm betting that our slovenly press - the enablers of so much that is rotten in our society - will give this a pass.

  3. The really disgusting part though, is after the screwup is done and the coverup begins. It takes some special kind of bastard to let innocent people face criminal convictions, while sitting on facts that would exonerate them. I hope there are grounds for a lawsuit and that Atkinson, Schmidt and Jones sue the living shit out of them.

  4. I can garantee that this was not innocent mistakes. They are like OPP cops at Caledonia, look for easy pickings

  5. I've come to expect nothing less from the culture of bureaucratic/regulatory oversight that considers the average hard-working free-living (rural) Canadian citizen to be a latent criminal because the evil capitalist system is assumed to encourage cheating and sculduggery. OSPCA agents view animal owners with this prejudice, as do CFIA agents regulating feed mill operators, and on and on. It's to the point where they'll manufacture incriminating evidence (or hide exonerating evidence) to prove their contention. Rotten bastards.