Press Release

BC Dairy statement on video of animal abuse on farm

In response to video footage released by Animal Justice

The BC Dairy Association denounces the abuse of animals seen in video footage of a BC dairy farm released to the public by Animal Justice earlier today.

On October 26 the BC SPCA alerted the BC Milk Marketing Board that it was launching an investigation of the farm in question, based on video evidence of animal abuse. The board conducted an inspection of the farm, and based on that immediately suspended the farm’s milk production license and launched its own investigation. BC Dairy fully supports the decision of the BC Milk Marketing Board in this matter.

“The treatment of animals shown in the video is abuse. It is extremely upsetting to watch,” says Holger Schwichtenberg, a dairy farmer and Chair of BC Dairy’s Board of Directors. “I am a dairy farmer myself, and I don’t know any dairy farmer who would accept this behaviour from anyone on their farm. We have a strong set of regulations for the care of animals on dairy farms, and this falls well outside our expectations.”

The treatment of dairy cows shown in the video clearly violates the National Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Dairy Cattle, which is mandatory for all dairy farms in BC. Dairy farmers take this very seriously. The Code was developed jointly by industry, the federal government, veterinarians, and animal welfare researchers, and covers all aspects of feeding, handling and housing of dairy cattle in detail. 

It is the responsibility of every dairy farm business in the province to ensure national standards for animal care are followed, and to ensure the training and performance of their employees. “All dairy farmers in BC know this, there are no excuses. The farm must be held accountable,”says Schwichtenberg.

Currently, the BC SPCA and The BC Milk Marketing Board are each conducting investigations to gather all the facts. In addition, working with the province the BC Milk Marketing Board has ensured the cows are being properly cared for under the supervision of a qualified, independent professional. Once its investigation is complete the BC Milk Marketing Board will conduct a hearing, and determine what remedies are appropriate. BC Dairy will continue to support the BC SPCA and BC Milk Marketing Board in their investigations in any way possible.

Anyone who witnesses abuse of an animal should immediately report that to authorities. 

Media Contact:

Christine Terpsma

Shawn Hall 

About BC Dairy Association
BC Dairy is a not-for-profit association that represents BC’s 470 dairy farmers. The association supports the growth and long-term business success of BC’s dairy farms. BC Dairy represents BC in a strong national dairy system committed to providing Canada with high quality, responsibly farmed, healthy dairy products. BC Dairy takes direction from a Board of elected and appointed dairy producer representatives, and is operated by a staff team.