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

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

Post-COVID-19 recovery clinic in Surrey, at Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (Photo: Fraser Health)
Surrey gets one of three post-COVID-19 recovery clinics

The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre is located at 9750 140th Street

White Rock’s fire chief says a Jan. 21 kitchen fire in a third-floor apartment was a close call. (Garry Wolgemuth photo)
White Rock kitchen fire a ‘close call’

Fire chief says incident is reminder to not use stovetop as storage space

New Westminster-based musician Krystle Dos Santos in a promo photo.
Surrey’s ‘Digital Stage’ for Krystle Dos Santos’ Bloom/Burn songs starting Jan. 29

Black History Month-timed online concert focuses on musician’s album of R&B/soul songs

Surrey council has awarded a contract for the design of the Nicomekl Bridge replacement. (Google Streetview image)
Surrey approves $1M design contract for Nicomekl Bridge replacement

Construction anticipated to get underway in fall 2021

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Competitors make their way through the course at the 2019 Canadian Cross Country Championships, which was hosted by Abbotsford in 2019. (File photo)
Abbotsford to host 2023 Canadian Cross Country Championships

Clearbrook Park last hosted the event in 2019, Ottawa hosting 2021 and 2022 races

Abbotsford Police officers investigate the scene after a pedestrian was struck and killed on Friday morning. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Male pedestrian, 37, killed in Abbotsford after being struck by vehicle

Collision took place in 31800 block of South Fraser Way on Friday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

Most Read