Search OCA
Get Local!

Sheep owners, USDA dispute sheep test results

June 6, 2002 Associated Press
The owners of a flock of Vermont sheep seized and killed by the government are saying that test results released to them reveal the animals were healthy.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is disputing the statements made by sheep owner Dr. Larry Faillace that all 99 sheep tested were free of disease.

Following a period of court battles, the USDA seized Larry and Linda Faillace's 125 imported East Friesian and Beltex sheep on a snowy morning in March of 2001 amid tears and shouts of anger from the owners and community supporters. The animals were seized by the USDA for fear they harbored a variant of mad cow disease.

More than a year after the Faillaces' sheep were taken, the USDA announced in April that two of the Faillaces' sheep had tested positive for a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), a class of illness that includes mad cow disease.

Nothing has changed since that April announcement, said USDA spokesman Ed Curlett this morning.

"We stand by our announcement earlier this year that two of the 99 were positive for a TSE," Curlett said. "That's what we know, that's how we see it, we stand by that announcement earlier this year."

Curlett said the USDA is basing its findings on a test done on the killed sheep by Dr. Richard Rubenstein, who conducted similar tests that led to the initial seizure.

Larry Faillace, an animal scientist as well, said he is basing his findings on those same tests by Rubenstein.

Faillace claims Rubenstein results reveal only an anomaly in tests of two of the animals.

Faillace said this means the results could have been compromised due to storing tissue samples too long and a resulting tissue breakdown.

Faillace said the sheep were seized in March 2001. Only 99 of the 125 were tested, as 26 were lambs.

The Faillaces have always maintained that more tests are required to determine a TSE.

Faillace criticized the USDA for relying on this test and allegedly ignoring an explanation of the results from its consultant, Rubenstein.

Home | News | Organics | GE Food | Health | Environment | Food Safety | Fair Trade | Peace | Farm Issues | Politics
Forum | Español | Campaigns | Buying Guide | Press | Search | Volunteer | Donate | About Us | Contact Us | Email This Page

Organic Consumers Association - 6771 South Silver Hill Drive, Finland MN 55603
E-mail: Staff · Activist or Media Inquiries: 218-226-4164 · Fax: 218-353-7652
Please support our work. Send a tax-deductible donation to the OCA

Fair Use Notice: The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of scientific, environmental, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal or technical advice.
Please Support Our Sponsors!

Organic Valley

Organic
Valley

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

Dr. Bronner's
Magic Soaps

Botani Organic

Botani
Organic

Aloha Bay

Aloha Bay

Eden Organics

Eden Foods

Frey Vineyards

Frey
Vineyards

Intelligent Nutrients

Intelligent
Nutrients