Flooding threatens band of Jacob sheep transported from Abbotsford to Israel

Shipping fever believed to be behind death of two sheep, while a dozen more are sick

  • Dec. 29, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Some of the Jacob sheep recently brought to Israel from Abbotsford have died or become sick due to treacherous weather conditions.

by Owen Munro, Abbotsford News

Treacherous weather conditions, including flooding, are being blamed for the death of two purebred Jacob sheep brought to Israel from an Abbotsford farm.

Around 100 of the 119 sheep have already landed in the country, but heavy rains and flooding caused an additional dozen more to become sick.

The poor weather conditions also knocked over some temporary structures that housed them. Gil and Jenna Lewinsky had coordinated the move of the biblical sheep from their Abbotsford farm to a village in southern Israel and says the sheep are struggling with the cold and wet conditions.

“We are working with the Israeli authorities to conserve the animals,” Gil Lewinsky said in an email. “We hope for a positive resolution.”

The road leading to the farm was also inaccessible, with ATV being the only way to reach the route to the temporary quarantine area.

Alex Lewinsky is in Abbotsford watching everything unfold and called the situation precarious. He said a private vet visited the sheep and recommended moving them, which the Israeli agricultural ministry is reportedly open to.

“Shipping fever can be blamed, there are around a dozen of them that have it,” he said. “It’s like sending someone to Siberia or something like that.”

Shipping fever is also known as bovine respiratory disease (BRD) and is a common problem for cattle, but it’s not uncommon for sheep or goats. Alex said the sheep are like family to the Lewinskys, and desperately want the government to help move them.

Moving the sheep from Canada has taken more than two years as Israel prohibits the importation of livestock due to potential diseases. Flights bringing over the remaining sheep have been temporarily postponed until conditions improve. The sheep had been in quarantine in Hamilton for the past month and were flown out of Toronto’s Pearson Airport.

The sheep have origins dating back more than 3,000 years ago to present-day Israel. They were approved on a one-time basis for tourism and research purposes; the Lewinskys hope to open an educational farm outside of Jerusalem.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Annual Walk for Alzheimer’s goes online on May 31

Event held every year in Abbotsford now raising funds through virtual event

UPDATE: Man from Mexico reported missing in Abbotsford has been located

Police report that Antonio Fernandez, 29, has been found safe and sound

Pedestrian struck in late-night collision on Highway 1 in Hope

RCMP were on scene at the incident near Flood Hope Road where traffic was rerouted for eight hours

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak declared over

Dr. Bonnie Henry hails work done to halt outbreak, which saw more than 130 people contract COVID-19

Man who broke into Abbotsford post office receives four more months in jail

Gary Patrick Richard sentenced for break-in and mail theft from April 20

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

Man last seen walking out of Royal Columbian Hospital found dead

It is unclear how or why Gavin Deloes was able to leave the New Westminster hospital

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Most Read