Fines of around $65,000 were levied against 11 different farms found to have produced milk contaminated with antibiotics between August 2015 and July 2016.
The milk never made it to stores after being discovered in routine testings, according to the BC Dairy Association spokesperson Trevor Hargreaves.
All milk is tested before being shipped and, if such contaminants are found, the milk is discarded and the producer penalized by the BC Ministry of Agriculture and BC Milk Marketing Board. Producers must also pay to dispose of the milk and all shipments are then suspended until new milk tests negative.01111
The industry uses antibiotics to treat sick animals, but Hargreaves said in an email that a “stringent set of industry practices” regulate the usage of drugs. Animals that receive antibiotics aren’t supposed to provide milk for a certain length of time to allow for the drugs to clear their systems.
Hargreaves said confidentiality rules mean he couldn’t disclose the location of the farms that were fined.
Abbotsford has 103 milk producers, who account for just over one-fifth of the provincial total and produce 22 per cent of all B.C. milk.