Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Four charged with sheep abduction

Michael Schmidt, Montana Jones, Suzanne Atkinson and Robert Pinnell face criminal charges following an investigation into the removal of 31 sheep from an eastern Ontario farm on April 2.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says those charges include obstructing a CFIA inspector, transportation of an animal under quarantine, and conspiracy to defraud the public service.
Glencolton Farms, a co-op operated by Schmidt and Robert Pinnell, was raided on Aug. 2 by the CFIA in connection with the Shropshire sheep taken from a federally-quarantined farm in Northumberland County.
Michael Schmidt
Those sheep had been quarantined over concerns they had scrapie.

Schmidt has denied having anything to do with their removal. He has been in trouble with the law over the marketing of raw milk.

He also quit as a director of the Ontario branch of the National Farmers Union and was one of several former executives who wrote to the Appeal Tribunal with concerns about the NFU operations.

He is a founding member of the newest general farm organization, Progressive Farmers Association.

Atkinson is a freelance reporter for Ontario Farmer.