British Columbia’s milk marketing board has conditionally reinstated the operating licence for a Fraser Valley farm that remains under investigation for allegations of animal cruelty.
In a Friday notice, BC Milk said its own initial investigation confirmed “multiple violations” of the Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle at Cedar Valley Farms.
The farm remains under investigation by the BC SPCA, which could still result in animal cruelty or criminal charges.
BC Milk suspended the farm’s licence on Oct. 27, and the farm’s cattle have been under independent oversight since then.
Under the new conditions, BC Milk will appoint an independent third-party consultant to oversee a “cultural change in animal care and handling practices” at the farm.
An independent veterinarian will be retained to conduct regular health and welfare checks on the animals, management and staff will undergo new training and all employees will have to sign a “cattle care commitment.”
The farm will also be subject to monthly unannounced inspections for the next 12 months.
The BC SPCA said it launched its own inspection last month after being given video that appeared to show “very serious instances of animal abuse” on the farm.
Animal rights activists were planning a protest outside one of the farm’s co-owners workplaces in Abbotsford on Saturday, calling for the closure of the farm and the cancellation of his veterinary licence.
In an Oct. 28 statement to Global News, the farm said it remained committed to animal welfare and was taking “immediate action to get to the bottom of any activities that differ from our animal care commitments.”
“Staff on our farms are our responsibility for continuous training and oversight, and if we discover that animals are not treated with dignity and care in all stages of their life, it is on us to correct these wrongs,” the company said.