Ministry of Agriculture

Farm Practices Protection

Buffering rural/ urban edgesFarm practices protection is one of the key components of the Strengthening Farming Program. Land within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), other areas where land is zoned for farming and licensed aquaculture areas represent those parts of the province where farming is specifically allowed. The Farm Practices Protection (Right to Farm) Act (FPPA) was enacted to protect a farmer's right to farm within these important regions of BC.

The protection provided by the Act specifically relates to nuisances such as odour, noise, dust or other disturbances. The right to farm is, however, not automatic. It requires that:

  • a farm operation use normal farm practices (as defined by the Act) or practices as may be prescribed by Cabinet regulation; and

  • the operation does not contravene other legislation (Environmental Management Act, Integrated Pest Management Act, and Health Act.) or any land use regulation.

When a farm operation follows these requirements, the farmer is not liable to any person and cannot be prevented by an injunction or court order from any nuisance related to the operation of the farm.

For farm operations conducted in the ALR or in a licensed aquaculture area that observe the points noted above, the farmer also does not contravene local government bylaws related to animal control, noise and nuisance if related to the farm operation.

Striking a Balance

While providing farmers with protection from unwarranted nuisance complaints, the FPPA also provides a balanced approach to resolving concerns about farm operations for people living near farms. Both informal and formal processes have been put in place to assist all parties in resolving concerns and complaints about farm operations.

The Farm Industry Review Board has been created with a mandate to hear complaints from persons who feel aggrieved by nuisances arising from agriculture or aquaculture operations. The Board may also study and report generally on farm practices.

To assist the Board, local governments and others in understanding farm practices, the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands has developed the Farm Practices Reference Guide. Over time, key issues related to farm practices will also be examined to help establish operational guidelines.

Strengthening Farming makes important linkages between the farm practices protection and planning for agriculture sides of the Program.  Much of this effort is focused on preventive measures. Local governments are encouraged to consider means within their plans and bylaws to reduce the potential for land use conflict.

Focused "edge planning" helps ensure greater land use compatibility between urban and agricultural areas to prevent potential conflicts before they happen.

Taken together, farm practices protection, supported by sound planning for agriculture, will translate into benefits for the community as a whole.

FPPA- Benefiting Farmers and Residents by:

  • protecting farmers who use normal farm practices from unwarranted nuisance complaints;

  • creating a new process to resolve complaints about farm practices; and

  • encouraging local governments to take measures to prevent land use conflicts in their plans and bylaws.


More Information

         1 Source: Statistics Canada, 2001 Census of Agriculture