What is Normal Farm Practice?

Under the Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act (FPPA), "normal farm practice" is a practice conducted by a farm business in a manner consistent with

  1. Proper and accepted customs and standards as established and followed by similar farm businesses under similar circumstances, and
  2. Standards prescribed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

This definition includes a practice that makes use of innovative technology in a manner consistent with proper advanced farm management practices and with any standards prescribed under paragraph (b).

Examples of Normal Farm Practice

Mitchell v Bhullar (PDF; June 10, 2011)

Issue: Does the noise arising from the propane cannon use and management practices on the blueberry farm result from normal farm practices?

After hearing the evidence and arguments presented by the complainant and the farm's response, and reviewing evidence presented by a “knowledgeable person”, previous court decisions, Ministry guidelines, industry standards and site specific circumstances, the BCFIRB panel:

… finds that the use of propane cannons in accordance with the August 2009 Ministry Guidelines for the use of Audible Bird Scare Devices for South Coastal B.C. establishes normal farm practice in the case of the blueberry farm operations.

The panel also finds that while the propane cannon use and management practices on the blueberry farm prior to July 8, 2010 were, in some respects, not in compliance with the revisions to the Ministry guidelines made in August 2009, those practices came into compliance after July 7, 2010 and were in compliance when the complaint was filed. Thus, we conclude the noise arising from the propane cannon use and management practices on the blueberry farm after July 7, 2010 results from normal farm practice. That being the case, we make no order for cessation or modification of the respondents’ propane cannon use and management practices.

Feehan v Ferguson (PDF; August 17, 2010)

Issues:

  1. Is the complainant aggrieved by noise generated from the guinea fowl and all other poultry on the Ferguson operation?
  2. Is the complainant aggrieved by the uncontained birds that migrate onto his property from the Ferguson property?
  3. If so, are the noise and the uncontained poultry from the Ferguson operation in accordance with normal farm practice?

After reviewing the evidence and hearing arguments presented by the complainant and the farm responding, as well as reviewing evidence presented by a “knowledgeable person”, interveners, and site specific circumstances, the BCFIRB panel concluded:

Section 6 of the Act provides that a panel must dismiss a complaint if it is of the opinion that the odour, noise, dust or other disturbance results from a normal farm practice, and must order a farmer to cease the practice that causes the odour, noise, dust or other disturbance if it is not a normal farm practice, or to modify the practice in the manner set out in the order, to be consistent with normal farm practice. Given that we have found the farmer is conducting his business according to normal farm practices, the complaint is dismissed.”