Judge rules Vermont flocks must be killed


WASHINGTON – U.S. Judge J. Garvan Murtha ruled Feb. 6 that the owners of two Vermont sheep flocks must comply with an order issued last summer by former Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman.

The USDA first announced plans to seize the sheep in July 2000 after the department found that four sheep from the flocks tested positive for an undifferentiated transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) disease.

Glickman declared an “extraordinary emergency” and ordered the sheep removed and destroyed. The owners challenged USDA’s decisions through several court actions. During this time the sheep have remained under quarantine.