Sheep farmer fights to save flock from destruction

© AgMedia Inc.

A Northumberland County, Ontario farmer denies her flock of heritage sheep poses a scrapie risk


Thanks for running the story on my endangered Shropshire flock...just to clarify however...the photo pictured above is somewhat misleading—it is a photo of commercial FEEDLOT sheep..they are not Shropshires nor are they pasture-based as mine are. I raise mine naturally on grass.

*My goal is for CFIA and Agriculture Canada to implement an alternative course to the present, outdated scrapie protocol. My proposed rare heritage breed exemption for flocks would include on-farm monitoring, quarantine, surveillance and continued selective breeding to increase breed population, while still submitting the obexes of any dead sheep (that die naturally or at abattoir) for testing. This will be important not just for my flock, but to future flocks where this situation may arise.*

The pilot project CFIA currently proposes is not an option. With it, the sheep and genetics are still destroyed. CFIA has advised me I have until New Years Eve to apply for a pilot project that would mean I must:
• Declare my farm “infected” when it isn’t; CFIA considers my farm a "potential source of infection" to the Alberta case found, and CFIA is asking me to LIE and sign a "Declaration of Infected Place" that would give them the right to initiate activities which are not necessary as they might be on a premises where scrapie was actually found.
• Agree to let them destroy all my heritage rams NOW;
• Keep the QQ ewes for now and use an RR ram for 2 years’
THEN let them destroy all the QQ ewes anyway.

I asked why still destroy the ewes after 2 years when that time allows even more live testing and likely even more negative results?

So I will not agree to that...not agree to killing all my rare Miller line sons, not agree to kill the ewes in 2 years, and not agree to lie and say my farm is infected when it is NOT—CFIA has found no trace of scrapie.

There are also questions surrounding the possible misidentification of the Alberta ewe.

CFIA agrees the Alberta positive ewe may have contracted it some time after she left my Ontario farm. Her two offspring both tested negative for scrapie, despite the fact that one is actually a QQ.

Also to clarify, I have in fact emailed the Canadian Sheep Federation and numerous other assocaitions and organizations about this matter.

Would very much appreciate signatures to the petition to Ag Canada and CFIA to stop and modify their protocol to reflect and protect our heritage breeds, especially when no other humans or animals are at risk. Thanks very much

Montana Jones

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