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

Just Posted

Abbotsford demonstration planned for Friday

Organizers say they don’t intend to block rail or road traffic downtown

Victoria, Abbotsford recorded biggest jumps in rent prices nationwide: report

Toronto and Vancouver had priciest rentals in Canada

VIDEO: Abbotsford stabbing sends one to hospital

One person received non-life threatening injuries after stabbing early Sunday morning

PHOTOS: Family Day at the Mission Leisure Centre

Families participating in events including floor hockey, bouncy castle, skating, swimming and more

VIDEO: Bear Hide Campaign March goes through downtown Mission

Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal men stand up against violence towards women and children

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read