An update from BC Dairy Association
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Re: An Update Regarding Milk Pick-up At Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd.
CHILLIWACK – June 20, 2014
We are pleased to learn that milk pick-up has resumed at Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd. The public needs to be assured that dairy cows are well taken care of, and this sentiment is shared across the dairy sector. As a result of industry co-operation and collective action, the industry is now able to begin accepting milk from the farm in question, while imposing rigourous monitoring and testing measures to ensure that the animals in question are protected.
The past few weeks have been a dark time for the BC Dairy Industry. The animal abuse incident at Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd. has caused our industry to take a long hard look at industry animal welfare issues. We are looking toward the future and focusing on devising the steps necessary to assure that such an incident never happens again on a BC Dairy Farm.
Behind the scenes, the key stakeholder groups have also been working hard to develop a number of strong changes and new initiatives that will strengthen animal inspection and enforcement protocols. In the short-term, we at the BC Dairy Association have taken the following steps:
- First and foremost, we pushed for the immediate installation of video cameras at Chilliwack Cattle Sales, allowing for 24-hour surveillance of animal care practices on the farm.
- While the installation of cameras was ongoing, we placed a staff member on the farm during the nightshift to monitor animal treatment.
- We pushed for the immediate adoption of an employee handbook and development of strict policies to regulate employee behavior.
- We’ve also asserted the need for ongoing employee training on Herdsmanship to assure a higher standard of employee knowledge and training.
- Moving forward, we have requested improved supervisory monitoring on every shift, particularly on the nightshift.
- We have also advocated for interim third party on-site audits to assess the current state of animal welfare practices on the farm.
Moving forward, the BC Dairy Association commits to frequent updates to the public and media regarding industry developments on this subject as they evolve. As the representative organization for BC Dairy Farmers, we want to again stress how contrary the actions in that video are to our practices. The average dairy farm in this province has 130 cows, is family owned, and multigenerational. Well-treated cows are strong milk-producing animals, and it’s in absolutely no-one’s interest to mistreat their animals.
We recognize that public trust in the BC dairy industry has been shaken. But we strongly feel that our industry is one that is worth believing in. The community of BC dairy farmers have great concern around this issue. Quick action is on the way. There is much more to do. We WILL earn back your trust.
For more information please contact:
Director of Producer Relations and Communications
BC Dairy Association
604-603-7872 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The BC Dairy Association (BCDA) is a not-for-profit organization that represents the BC dairy industry, by advancing the legitimate business interests of BC’s dairy farmers and by raising awareness of the dynamic, economically sustainable nature of the industry, which consistently supplies high-quality products to consumers. BCDA implements innovative advertising, promotion and nutrition education programs and advocates for producers’ concerns such as the environment, animal welfare, product safety, employee training, trade and regulatory matters.