Monday, February 23, 2015

More on the scrapie case

Here is some more of the disturbing information lawyer Shawn Buckley has included in his letter to Crown Attorney Damien Frost:

The initial sample drawn at the Lyster farm where scrapie was identified says it was from a ram imported from the United States, not from Montana Jones' farm in Ontario.

That was, without explanation, changed to the sheep Lyster bought from Jones.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has a detailed report of all the sheep Lyster bought and all the farms to which he sold sheep.

It has so far withheld this information from Buckley.

The trace-in information would identify sheep, other than the one from Jones' farm, that might have introduced scrapie to the Lyster flock. It would also point to farms where follow-up investigations is needed to determine whether scrapie showed up there.

The trace-out information would identify farms that might have bought animals from Lyster that were infected with scrapie. If investigation turns up any that were infected, then knowing what animals they bought from Lyster would be important. So would information about whether the purchase was made before or after Lyster bought the sheep from Jones.

The this case is still at the preliminary trial stage which means Buckley will have an opportunity to ask the court to order the CFIA to release the information he seeks before it proceeds to trial.

In the proceedings so far, the CFIA is coming off badly.

It seems the CFIA cannot prove what it told the judge before sentencing Suzanne Atkinson -i.e. that her involvement in taking the sheep from the Jones farm while it was under scrapie quarantine threatened to spread scrapie to many other farms.

In fact, the CFIA may have identified the wrong animal at the Lyster farm and in fact those who took the sheep from the Jones farm may have been preserving justice, not thwarting it.