Australian Dairy Farmers On Trial

It isn’t just American and Canadian dairy farmers who are under attack by their local governments for selling raw milk: two South Australian dairy farmers are being prosecuted for selling raw milk through their cow share program.

In South Australia, it is illegal to sell raw milk for consumption but not illegal to drink it from your own cow. Although cow share programs have been used as a loophole to get around similar restrictions in the US, the South Australian authorities found this cow share program to be a “sham” to sell raw milk to consumers.

The couple appealed their guilty verdicts to the Supreme Court. Justice Tim Stanley agreed with the magistrate that the cowshare program was a sham and constituted a sale under the Food Act but was forced to grant the appeal due to errors made by the magistrate and prosecutor. The couple will face a new trial in the future.

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Maryland Raw Milk Sales Now Legal – For Pets

Although people living in Maryland still cannot legally obtain raw milk for consumption, their pets can. The Maryland Department of Agriculture has granted dairy farm P.A. Bowen Farmstead a license for selling raw milk for pet consumption.

P.A. Bowen Farmstead is owned by Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) President Sally Fallon Morell and her husband, Geoffrey Morell. Fallon Morell, in conjunction with the Weston A. Price Foundation and the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, have been fighting for decades to end restrictions on raw milk sales in Maryland and around the country.

This kind of license is the first of its kind in Maryland, and adds the state to a select group of others that allow raw pet milk sales: Florida, Georgia, Indiana and North Carolina.

Read more at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

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Raw Milk Heats Up in Wisconsin

Previous efforts to legalize raw milk sales in America’s Dairyland have been unsuccessful, but Wisconsin raw milk advocates in the region haven’t given up hope yet. Assembly Republican David Murphy of Greenville, WI says he plans to introduce a new bill in November 2015 that will give people the freedom to buy raw milk straight from the farm.

Former Governor Jim Doyle previously rejected a similar bill when it came across his desk in 2010, due to last-minute lobbying to convince him of the risk that raw milk-related illnesses could pose to Wisconsin’s reputation. Current Governor Scott Walker’s office said they will consider a similar bill if it reaches his desk but that it must include safeguards to protect individuals’ health and the reputation of the dairy industry.

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Michael Schmidt Arrested for Removing Surveillance Equipment from His Farm

Michael Schmidt was arrested on October 19, 2015 on charges of criminal theft for allegedly removing surveillance equipment he found on his farm in August. After discovering the cameras, which had no identification on them, Schmidt removed them and contacted police to report their discovery and ask who they belong to.

Schmidt believes the cameras belong to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and were put there to spy on the happenings and visitors of his farm. He refused to turn them over to the police and, several weeks later, a summons was issued for his arrest. Schmidt was arrested and held overnight in jail on October 29th.

His arrest came on the heels of two back-to-back raids of his farm, which took place during the week of September 29th and ultimately ended in a tense standoff between local authorities and Schmidt supporters, who prevented authorities from leaving the farm with farm equipment and dairy products.

“I am convinced that these charges about the cameras are some sort of revenge,” Schmidt says. “After the investigator and the agents had to leave the farm without the equipment they seized on the October 2, 2015 raid, they want something to show for it.”

For now, the tension between Schmidt and authorities continues to build as his farm has pledged to continue to peacefully grow and produce food as it has always done.

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International Raw Milk Symposium Livestream on November 16, 2015

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The annual International Raw Milk Symposium, which will discuss the health benefits and safety practices of raw milk, can be viewed via Livestream on Monday, November 16th beginning at 9:15am PDT.

With consumption of raw milk on the rise and several states loosening sales restrictions, more and more consumers are becoming curious about raw milk and their options for obtaining it.

The Raw Milk Symposium will take place on the last day of the International Wise Traditions Conference, a widely attended annual nutrition conference. Headline speakers of the Raw Milk Symposium include:

Sally Fallon Morell: “Why Raw Milk?” (9:15-10:30am PDT)

Mark McAfee: “Behind the Scenes: What’s Really Happening with Raw Milk in the USA?” (10:45am-12:00pm PDT)

Peg Coleman: “Risk Beyond Numbers: Understanding Data, Gaps and Assumptions Bridging Them” (1:15-2:30pm PDT)

Charlotte Smith: “Building, Managing, Marketing and Sustaining a Raw Milk Micro-Dairy” (2:45-4:00pm PDT)

To watch the livestream:

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