Asad Syed feeds a calf in his back yard, located in South Surrey, at the beginning of the year. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey man and city settle beef over backyard cow

Asad Syed, who kept a calf on his property last year, met City of Surrey in court Tuesday

The City of Surrey settled a beef with a South Surrey man Tuesday in provincial court, after the resident was issued $750 in fines for keeping a newborn calf on his residential property.

As part of a plea deal made in Surrey Provincial Court, the city agreed to drop two charges if Asad Syed pleaded guilty to one count of unlawfully keeping livestock on his property.

Syed was ordered to pay one $250 fine, which is to be shared between him and his wife.

Syed purchased a calf from a dairy farmer just before Christmas last year. He was bottle feeding the calf at the time and planned to transfer the animal to his hobby farm near Yale where it could “survive and thrive,” he said.

READ ALSO: South Surrey man has beef with city over backyard calf

READ ALSO: Stubborn ‘neighbours’ leave hoofprints, waste on lawns

The City of Surrey turned up at his house before Christmas and told him he needed to remove the animal from the residential property by Jan. 2.

Syed agreed, however, his plan to relocate the animal was delayed because the caretaker of the hobby farm left to celebrate Christmas, and then extended his time away by one week to deal with an illness, the court heard.

Syed told Peace Arch News last year that he had no choice but to keep the calf in his backyard until the farm caretaker returned.

On Jan. 13, the city issued Syed and his wife a $250 fine.

Syed disputed the fine in court, which prompted the city to issue two more $250 fines under the same bylaw, bringing the total amount to $750, he said.

A trial for the case was scheduled to begin Tuesday, but the city’s lawyer announced the plea deal agreement to Judicial Justice Irene Blackstone prior to its commencement.

Blackstone accepted the plea, and noted that Syed sought mercy from the court, which she did not grant.

“I will point out that a $125 fine (each) is quite reasonable considering the circumstances,” Blackstone said in court.

“You seem to be missing the point of the bylaw. It’s residential. It’s not just a punishment situation, it’s a deterrent to other people. If you can bring a calf, can your neighbour bring two cows? If that neighbour can bring two cows, can another neighbour have a horse?”

Blackstone said that it did not seem to her that Syed did enough to find an alternative location for the calf while he was waiting for his caretaker to become available.

“You’re not the only farmer in the Lower Mainland. Did you reach out to anyone in the farming community?” she asked.

“By just taking the easiest route wasn’t necessarily the best route.”

Syed told PAN after court that he contested the bylaw because he did not think a “small calf” should be considered livestock.

“I pled guilty for the first count, but I have concerns with the city behaviour,” he said.

“Given the one ticket, which was appropriate for the contradiction of the bylaw, they raised it two times just to punish (me).”

Syed said he accepted the plea deal because the “city was getting desperate and ready to waste tax payers’ money on a non-issue.”

Syed said the cow is in good health.



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Investigation clears RCMP in incident where man fell from Langley overpass

‘Officers acted commendably and placed themselves at risk’ police watchdog report finds

VIDEO: Plane that reportedly crashed into Fraser River was from Delta flight school, Transportation Safety Board confirms

Cessna was flying over the river near Maple Ridge and Langley when it disappeared from radar

Township council mulls climate action costs

Public consultation begins later this year on a 20-year plan to cut carbon emissions

‘It’s not just about our thrift shop’: Alder Inn plans asked to include community parking

Fibromyalgia Wellspring founder Cheryl Young is asking the Township to use downtown lots for parking

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Rural Chilliwack residents asked to stay indoors, lock doors amid heavy police presence

Heavy police presence in rural Chilliwack neighbourhood as RCMP contend with ‘serious situation’

Councillor Doug Elford Surrey’s acting mayor during McCallum’s “health concern” absence

Mayor issued a statement Tuesday night saying he’ll be back on the job by Monday

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Most Read