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.

Just Posted

Preliminary inquiry set for man accused of killing Belgian tourist

Sean McKenzie charged with killing Amelie Sakkalis, 28 on Aug. 22 near Boston Bar

PHOTOS: Salton pedestrian/cycling bridge lowered into place

Pedestrian/cycling bridge now in place over Highway 1

Abbotsford Police project tackles use of stolen debit and credit cards

‘That’s Not You’ cuts fraudulent offences in half, police say

Abbotsford schools’ uneven enrolment issues levelling

Preliminary enrolment data show increase at under-capacity schools, decrease at over-capacity schools

UFV launches Food and Agriculture Institute

New centre at University of the Fraser Valley fosters food security

‘She’s charging. Oh God’: Mama grizzly runs at B.C. man armed with shotgun

People online were quick to question – and defend – a man’s decision to shoot a grizzly bear charging him on a Bella Coola front yard

Canada announces $20M fund for women entrepreneurs

New federal program will provide up to $100,000 for female business owners to grow their operations

Vancouver Island man claims falling ice smashed his truck windshield

Man discovered volleyball-sized chunk ice on his truck Saturday, near Nanaimo, B.C.

B.C. veteran combats PTSD in the ring and on the farm

Cam Tetrault is a valuable contributor at Quesnel’s Two Rivers Boxing Club

B.C. vegan butcher to appear on Dragons’ Den

Victoria’s Very Good Butchers will star in Nov. 29 episode

Vancouver mom creates screen-free kids’ entertainment

Luna Cheng, who grew up in Langley, is one of the creators of BoredBox.

Fast ferries from B.C. spotted in Egypt

Controversial aluminum BC Ferries vessels ’big white elephants covered in dust,’ eyewitness says

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

B.C. jury trial hears police-sting audio of man accused of killing girl, 12

Garry Handlen has pleaded not guilty to the first-degree murder of Monica Jack on May 6, 1978.

Most Read