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The agricultural news source in British Columbia since 1915 February 2017 | Vol. 103 No. 2

Chilliwack dairy fined for allowing "culture of abuse"

Dairy failed to properly train and supervise employees


Homeward bound

Jacob Baird, 6, of Armstrong brings

bred ewes home to Veldhuisen Dairy for lambing. TOM VELDHUISEN PHOTO

Growing more with less water

CHILLIWACK – The first installments towards $345,000 in fines and surcharges levied in a headline-grabbing case of animal abuse on a Fraser Valley dairy farm were paid last month, with the dairy farmers at the case’s heart pledging to ensure the situation never repeats itself. BC Provincial Court judge Robert Gunnell accepted the guilty pleas of Chilliwack Cattle Sales Ltd. president Ken Kooyman and his brother, Wesley, a company director directly responsible for the 2,800-head herd at the time workers were filmed abusing cattle by a member of the activist group Mercy for Animals in 2014.

In return, he sentenced the men to paying fines of $75,000 for each of the four counts with which they were charged – the maximum possible. Wesley Kooyman was sentenced to pay $75,000, plus a victim surcharge of $11,250. Chilliwack Cattle Sales, in the person of Ken Kooyman, was fined a total of $225,000, plus a victim surcharge of $33,750.

See DAIRY on next page o Well licensing deadline extended by DAVID SCHMIDT IRRIGA TION L TD

VALLEY CentER Pivots Diesel & PTO Pumps PVC & Aluminum Pipe Irrigation Reels DRIP IRRIGATION PROVINCE WIDE DELIVERY


VICTORIA – Due to an underwhelming response by users to register their wells, the province has extended its waiver of the application fee to December 31, 2017. The new Water Sustainability Act took effect February 29, 2016 and includes licensing requirements for all non-domestic groundwater users. As a result, all wells used for irrigation and livestock watering must be registered.

Users will also be charged for water usage as of March 1, 2016, regardless of when a well is registered.

Wells registered before March 1, 2019 will have their FITFIR (first-in-time, first-in-right) rights protected. Water usage rights will be

based on the date of first use of the well, a key consideration during a water shortage/ drought. Registrations after that date will be treated as new wells and their FITFIR rights will be based on the registration date. The BC Ministry of Environment (MoE) estimates the registration and licencing requirements apply to about 20,000 wells in the province.

As a carrot to encourage producers to register those wells, the province agreed to waive its one-time $250 application fee until March 1, 2017.

Although MoE staff have spent the past year explaining the new licencing requirements at commodity meetings around the province and

See WATER on next page o

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