Soldier fights fine for sharing pig

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The following story, titled “Defending our Constitutional right to freedom of choice — MNR undercover sting operation: sharing of a single home-slaughtered pig” is from Canada Free Press and is credited to the Ontario Landowners:

Michael Schmidt helped Mark Tijssen with his defense July 8th, on charges relating to sharing a pig. 

“The Carlsbad Springs MNR meat scandal goes back to court; this time with help from recently acquitted dairy farmer Michael Schmidt of Grey-Bruce. Mark Tijssen will be appearing at 13:30 on July 8th at the courthouse at 100 Constellation Crescent in Ottawa’s west end. Tijssen is facing four charges stemming from a lengthy undercover sting operation in November 2009 relating to the sharing of a single home-slaughtered pig.

Michael Schmidt and Mark Tijssen during Michael’s visit to Carlsbad Springs earlier this month. Here they are standing beside Mark’s smoke house, where he smokes the meat to give it a special flavour.

 Schmidt became well known because of a similar undercover sting operation by MNR and was charged with the crime of selling milk. Michael acted as his own lawyer in court was exonerated on all 19 charges that he faced in January of this year. Like Schmidt, Mark Tijssen is a firm believer in food choice, and has opted to request a trial in order to defend himself in court. Schmidt says “I am happy to be able to support Mark in defence of another government sting operation. The MNR’s modus operandi remind me far more of a police state dictatorship than the free and democratic society which we are supposed to enjoy.” Tijssen is delighted to have Michael at his side as he engages in a battle for freedom that he never anticipated during his 25 year military career. Tijssen says “Michael’s vast experience is going to make all the difference in the world. Facing this type of battle on your own is a nightmare. Having someone who has not only fought this battle, but won, gives me tremendous confidence.”

 Tijssen and Schmidt were united through the Ontario Landowners Association, an organization dedicated to supporting rural values and property rights….”

 For background here’s an excerpt from an earlier story on the same case from titled “Soldier fights fine for sharing pig“, by Justin Sadler, QMI agency:

Michael Schmidt and Mark Tijssen stand in front on the alleged “scene of the crime”, Mark’s garage.

 “OTTAWA – A Carlsbad Springs man was just being neighbourly when he shared a side of pork with a friend.

 Now he is going to trial in an Ottawa court on charges under Ontario’s food safety laws.

 On Thursday, Mark Tijssen, a major in the Canadian Forces, declined the opportunity to plead guilty to four charges under the province’s Food Safety and Quality Act stemming from an investigation that was launched after an anonymous complaint by a neighbour was filed with the Ministry of Natural Resources.

 The complainant alleged Tijssen and a friend purchased a pig, slaughtered it and shared the meat, something he readily admits.

 “I grew up killing animals for meat. I grew up on a farm in southern Ontario and somewhere along the line in the last half dozen years our Ontario government has decided that’s not a safe thing to do,” he said of the food safety laws — enacted between 2001 and 2005 — that prohibit the practice of sharing home-slaughtered meat.

 Tijssen belongs to a group of local churchgoers who butcher their own meat for safety reasons. It is legal to slaughter an animal for personal consumption, but not to share the meat.

 MNR officials seized about 18 kgs of pork from his friend as she left his place in Carlsbad Springs on Nov. 11, 2009, and then raided his property two days later with police. Tijssen faces one charge each of failing to have an animal inspected before and after slaughter, running an unlicensed slaughterhouse and illegally distributing meat.

 If he had pleaded guilty Thursday, he would have paid a nominal fine of about $1,000. Instead, he’ll fight for his right to food security.

 “At a certain point principle kicks in and right is right and wrong is wrong,” he said….”

 Read it all on

 And from a more recent Sun Media story by the same journalist:

 “….Bolstering Tijssen’s case is 54-year-old Durham region dairy farmer and raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt. He was charged when his cow-share co-op, which provides about 150 partial owners with raw, unpasturized milk, was raided in 2006.

 His case made international headlines and in January, he was acquitted of 19 charges of distributing raw milk and raw milk products.

 “I will stand by him and support him and help him through this,” Schmidt said. “Really it has nothing to do with protecting the public. It is simply about corporate control of our food supply.”

 Tijssen will be back in court Sept. 16….”

 According to Michael Schmidt, when they went into court on July 8th, it was clear the judge was expecting Mark to plead guilty. However, because the trial will involve a constitutional challenge, the next step in this case will be a pre-trial hearing September 16th.


Parting words — “Back off, government”

 Thanks to Michael Schmidt for the pictures.



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