The British Columbia Dairy Council is pleased to confirm that the industry has reached the point at which it can confidently resume the receipt of milk from Chilliwack Cattle Sales.
Council members were shocked and dismayed at reports last week of animal abuse on the Chilliwack dairy farm.
The severity of the outrage was expressed by our members' customers, many of whom demanded that they not be supplied with products made from milk that originated from the farm until proper assurances were received that the incidents had ceased and remedial measures implemented. In response, the Council sought assurances from the BC Milk Marketing Board that thorough assessments had been conducted by qualified third parties and that measures for ongoing monitoring had been put in place.
Council members are now satisfied that such measures have been taken and are prepared to receive the milk. In addition, the Council looks forward to participating in the June 26 meeting of key industry stakeholders aimed at expediting the reform of industry regulations to enable stricter enforcement of on-farm animal welfare practices.
The Council continues to condemn any form of mistreatment of farm animals and appreciates the efforts of all industry stakeholders to address this horrific incident and its ensuing impact on consumers of dairy products.
The British Columbia Dairy Council is deeply troubled by recent news reports showing incidents of animal abuse on a BC dairy farm. The images shown are extremely disturbing and depict practices that are condemned by all our members.
The Council does not condone the mistreatment of farm animals in any way, and it supports the efforts of the BC Dairy Association and the SPCA to take action on this matter. The Council expects that all milk purchased by its members will be produced in accordance with the highest standards of quality, safety and social responsibility including the ethical treatment of farm animals, and relies on and works with the BC Dairy Association to ensure that these standards are met.
The Council also notes that certain facts surrounding the news reports in question were presented incorrectly. Within British Columbia, no dairy processor, including Saputo, has direct access to or control over the farms that supply milk. To single out any one processor as being the recipient of milk from a particular farm or having any role in determining the destination of milk from any farm is both incorrect and misleading.
The BC Dairy Council will work with the BC Dairy Association to ensure that all of the milk received by processors is produced according to the highest possible standards including the ethical treatment of farm animals.
Further inquiries on this matter should be directed to the BC Dairy Association at 604-294-3775