Mad Sheep Disease?

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In the mid-1990s Linda Faillace and her family had a dream: they wanted to breed sheep and make cheese on their Vermont farm. They did the research, worked hard, followed the rules, and, after years of preparation and patience, built a successful, entrepreneurial business. But just like that, their dream turned into a nightmare. The U.S. Department of Agriculture told them that the sheep they imported from Europe (with the USDA’s seal of approval) carried a disease similar to the dreaded BSE or “mad cow disease.” After months of surveillance—which included USDA agents spying from nearby mountaintops and comically hiding behind bushes—armed federal agents seized their flock. The animals were destroyed, the Faillace’s lives turned upside down, all so that the USDA could show the U.S. meat industries that they were protecting America from mad cow disease—and by extension, easing fears among an increasingly wary population of meat-eaters.

She's got a book to describe her experiences. It's called Mad Sheep: The True Story of the USDA's War on a Family Farm.


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