Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ex-reporter gets probation for stealing quarantined sheep

A former farming reporter was sentenced Friday for her role in stealing 31 rare Shropshire sheep thought to have a brain disease from an Ontario farm.
Suzanne Atkinson, 54, of Warkworth, Ont., is one of four charged in the sheep’s disappearance from Montana Jones' Whole Earth Farm studio near Hastings, Ont., the QMI Agency reported.
Farm owner Jones, 56, raw milk advocate Michael Schmidt, 60, and Robert Pinnell, 48, were also charged.
The sheep were thought to have scrapie, a brain disease in sheep and goats. They were set to be euthanized and tested for the disease.
Atkinson pleaded guilty Dec. 15 to one count of transporting or causing to transport an animal under quarantine and was sentenced this week in a Peterborough court.
She received a conditional sentence with a year of probation and an order to perform 100 hours community service, CJOJ-FM reported.
Atkinson admitted she was part of a group that planned to take the quarantined flock on March 31, 2013, from Jones' farm.
Atkinson had been a freelance correspondent for Ontario Farmer magazine for 15 years, but resigned after her guilty plea.

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