Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture Food and Fisheries, has released the following statement in response to the BC Milk Marketing Board’s decision to suspend the licence of Cedar Valley Farms over allegations the farm violated the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle:
“I am shocked and extremely disappointed at the information that has been relayed to me about alleged actions at this farm, and I fully support the BC Milk Marketing Board’s decision to suspend the dairy licence, pending further investigation.
“Under B.C.’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, the BC SPCA is mandated to respond to animals in distress and investigate animal welfare concerns, and this is what they are doing.
“The BC Milk Marketing Board has the authority to regulate and monitor all activities related to the production and marketing of dairy products within B.C.
“It is of utmost importance that these animals receive proper care. While an investigation is underway, I have asked the BC Milk Marketing Board to make sure a qualified observer has a presence on the farm to ensure there are no animal welfare issues or concerns.
“B.C. ranchers and livestock producers take great pride in the care they provide their animals and in their role as stewards of the land. I believe the vast majority are meeting the standards in the code.
“My ministry will work closely with the BC SPCA and the commodity boards to identify any contraventions to the code and take appropriate action as needed.”