The BC Milk Marketing Board (BC Milk) has concluded its initial investigation into the allegations of violations of the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle at Cedar Valley Farms. BC Milk has confirmed there were multiple violations of the Code of Practice at this farm. The BC SPCA is continuing its investigation which may lead to charges under the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act or Criminal Code. BC Milk will fully support the ongoing BC SPCA Investigation. There has been independent oversight of the care of the animals during the suspension period; the animals are healthy and receiving proper care.
Cedar Valley Farms’ dairy license has been conditionally reinstated, provided the following mandatory conditions imposed by BC Milk are implemented:
- BC Milk will appoint an independent third-party consultant, who will report directly to BC Milk, and will be tasked with overseeing that the management and employees at Cedar Valley Farms are executing the cultural change in animal care and handling practices required by BC Milk.
- BC Milk will engage an independent veterinarian to conduct regular herd health and welfare audits.
- All employees and management will undertake cattle handling training and sign a cattle care commitment, subject to verification and review.
- All employees and management will undertake animal welfare training, to be conducted by an appointed dairy animal welfare expert as determined by the Board.
Over the next 12 months, Cedar Valley Farms will be subject to monthly unannounced animal welfare inspections by BC Milk. All costs associated with oversight and monitoring of the farm and employees will be incurred by Cedar Valley Farms.
The BC Milk Marketing Board will consider any information gathered by the BC SPCA during its independent investigation and may add additional conditions to the dairy license at any time.
BC Milk will work with the BC Dairy Association to fully review policies and procedures currently in place for the industry, including its farm inspection programs.
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