The British Columbia Milk Marketing Board says it has reinstated the dairy licence of a Fraser Valley farm with mandatory conditions after an investigation found violations of the code for the care and handling of dairy cattle.
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A dairy cow feeds at Nicomekl Farms, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The board says the mandatory conditions for Cedar Valley Farms include cattle handling and animal welfare training for all employees.

It says in a statement Friday it will appoint an independent consultant who will report directly to the board and oversee the farm’s management and staff as they undertake the required “cultural change in animal care and handling practices.”

An independent veterinarian will regularly audit herd health and welfare and the board says the farm will also be subject to monthly, unannounced inspections.

The milk board suspended the licence last month after receiving information from the B.C. SPCA, which continues to conduct its own investigation.

Cedar Valley Farms issued a statement last week, saying it was taking action to “get to the bottom of any activities” that differ from its animal care commitments.

There has been independent oversight of the animals’ care during the period the farm’s dairy licence was suspended, the statement from the milk board added.

Jerry Dakin’s cows have produced milk that helped feed families across the state for decades. Now, the longtime Manatee County dairyman has been recognized as Florida’s Farmer of the Year.

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