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

Residential real estate market rebounding well: long-time realtor

House prices, sales, and listings in Langley are moving on an upward trajectory

LETTER: Seniors challenge fellow pensioners to give $300 to charity

For those with a nice nest egg, one Langley couple suggests seniors give COVID money to a good cause

Memorial set for one of three found dead at Langley house fire

Father wants the community to know the “amazing” person who’s been lost

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

Aldergrove moms orchestrate class photo for Kindergarten grads after COVID-19 school shutdown

Five year olds at Parkside Elementary got one final reunion to wrap up their school year cut short

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

Most Read