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Old McDonald Had a Farmand He Got Arrested?

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:20 PM
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Old McDonald Had a Farmand He Got Arrested?
by David E. Gumpert

Just in time for the holidays, four beef carcasses hang from the improvised slaughterhouse at Greg Niewendorps 160-acre farm outside East Jordan, in the north of Michigans lower peninsula. It should be a happy Thanksgiving because, for the first time in eight months, his farm isnt under quarantine by Michigans Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Niewendorp is free to slaughter cattle from his herd of twenty and fulfill contracts in time for the holidays to the couple dozen friends and neighbors who prize the specially bred grass-fed beef he produces.

Yet its also a bittersweet time, because the scars from his battle with the MDA are still fresh. Last February, he refused to subject his cattle to a mandatory state program to test cattle in his region of Michigan for bovine tuberculosisa program he argues, among other things, is unnecessary because he distributes his beef privately to people who trust is animal-raising techniques, but which the state insists is essential to ensure the beef isnt tainted.

The state immediately slapped a quarantine on his farm, prohibiting the movement of animals onto or off the property. Then, in August, an MDA inspector arrived, escorted by two Michigan State Police officers, and attempted to convince Niewendorp to have his cattle tested by a vet waiting down the road. Niewendorp angrily ordered the inspector and police off his property, telling them that, without a search warrant, they were trespassers.

Finally, in early October, a team of MDA inspectors and vets arrived again, this time with a search warrant and two sheriffs deputiesand backed up by a half-dozen state trooper SWAT team members and three emergency medical vehicles down the road.

Niewendorp is convinced that they would have liked to have killed me, but this time he didnt resist, so the vets did their deed and left. All the tests came back negative and the state lifted its quarantine last month.

While the matter is over for the state, Niewendorp says its just begun for him. Theyll need a search warrant to do the test next year. Hes also organizing the Michigan chapter of the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association and says next year more Michigan farmers will refuse the test.

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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:40 PM
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1. shouldn't all animals be tested?
although his is not a commercial operation, some leeway is possible.
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Vanje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 03:51 PM
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2. Sheesh
Just test the damn cows.
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