Raw Milk Prohibitions and Penalties Under Canadian Law


Table of Contents:  Federal Law  •  Provincial Law •  Territorial Law


Federal Law:
Offence: Penalty: Authority:
Selling raw milk or un-aged raw cheese Summary conviction:  maximum $50,000 fine, or maximum 6 months jail, or both.  Conviction by indictment:  maximum  $250,000 fine, maximum 3 years jail, or both. Food and Drugs Act, s. 31.1  + Food and Drug Regulations, s. B.08.002.2(1)

Provincial Laws:
Province: Offence: Penalty: Authority:
Alberta Selling raw milk to anyone other than a licensed processor. Maximum $25,000 fine. Dairy Industry Act, s. 36 + Dairy Industry Regulation, s. 44(2)
Producing or processing milk from cows, goats, sheep “and other species kept for the purpose of milking” without a licence. Maximum $25,000 fine. Dairy Industry Act, ss. 4(1) and 34
British Columbia Selling or supplying raw milk For individuals:  $10 to $500 fine. For corporations: $50 to $5,000 fine. Milk Industry Act, ss. 6(1) and 37(3)
Causing a health hazard, raw milk being classified as a “health hazard” and offence defined by court ruling as “packaging and/or distribution.” Maximum $3,000,000 fine or up to 3 years  jail.  Also, contempt-of-court charge and trial, with penalty determined by judge. Public Health Act ss. 15 and 108(1)(c) + Health Hazards Regulation s. 2(a) + Fraser Health Authority v. Jongerden 2010 BCSC 355
Manitoba Operating a dairy farm without being registered. For individuals:  Maximum $20,000 fine, 6 months jail, or both. For corporations:  Maximum $50,000 fine. Dairy Farms Regulation, s. 2 + Dairy Act, s. 17
Selling unpasteurized milk or having possession of unpasteurized milk for the purpose of selling it. Dairy Farms Regulation, s. 53(1) + Dairy Act, s. 17
New Brunswick Selling raw milk, cream, or dairy products without a dairy plant licence. Minimum $500 fine.Maximum $50,000 fine. Public Health Act, ss. 17, 53(1), 53(2), 56(9), and Schedule A
Newfoundland and Labrador Selling raw milk to anyone other than a licensed processor. First offence: $500 to $5,000 fine, 1 to 6 months jail, or both.   Second offence:  $5,000 to $20,000 fine, 2 to 6 months jail, or both.  May pay for food testing/analysis costs incurred by Ministry. Food and Drug Act, s.  + Food Premises Regulations, s. 36.3(3)
Nova Scotia Producing, transporting, processing, distributing or marketing dairy products without a licence Maximum $2,000 fine, 6 months jail, or both. Dairy Industry Act, ss. 7 and 27  + Summary Proceedings Act, s. 4
Sell or offer to sell milk to any other person other than the Board Maximum $2,000 fine, 6 months jail, or both. Dairy Industry Act, s. 27 +  Milk Producer Licensing Regulations, s. 8 + Summary Proceedings Act, s. 4
Ontario Operating a dairy plant or distributing milk without a licence First offence: Maximum $2,000 fine for each day that the offence continues and for a subsequent offence a maximum $10,000 fine for each day that the offence continues. Milk Act ss. 15(1) and 21
Selling milk not complying with this regulation First offence: Maximum $2,000 fine for each day that the offence continues and for a subsequent offence a maximum $10,000 fine for each day that the offence continues. Milk Act, s. 21 + Milk and Milk Products Regulation, s. 3 + Grades, Standards, Designations, Classes, Packing and Marking Regulation, s. 18.
Selling raw milk Maximum $5,000 fine for every day or part of a day on which the offence occurs or continues. If a corporation, $25,000 fine for every day or part of a day on which the offence occurs or continues. Health Protection and Promotion Act, ss. 18(1) and 101(1).
Prince Edward Island Producing or processing milk or milk products without a licence For individuals:  Maximum fine of $1,000 for first offence, maximum $2,000 for second offence, $10,000 fine and/or up to 6 months jail for third and subsequence offences.  For corporations:  Maximum fine of $5,000 for first offence, maximum $10,000 for second offence, $25,000 fine for third and subsequent offences. Public Health Act, ss. 14(1) and 66(1) 
Selling or offering to sell raw milk other than to the Board or a licensed dairy plant Public Health Act, ss. 14(8) and 66(1)
Causing a health hazard (officer’s discretion as to what counts as a “health hazard”) Public Health Act, ss. 22 to 24 and 66(1)
Quebec Producing or marketing cows’ milk without holding quota. First offence:  $350 to $2,000 fine for an individual and $800 to $4,000 fine for a corporation. Subsequent offence:  $650 to $6,000 fine for an individual and $1,400 to $13,000 fine for a corporation Act respecting the marketing of agricultural, food and fish products, s. 193 and 92 + Quotas for Milk Producers Regulation, s. 3 + Joint plan (1980) of Quebec milk producers, s.1
Operate a dairy plant without a licence Minimum $500 fine.Maximum $5,000 fine. Food Products Act, ss. 9 and 42
Holding, preparing, selling, or transporting raw milk or dairy product unless to subject it to heat treatment in accordance with the standards set out in the regulation Minimum $500 fine.Maximum $5,000 fine. Food Products Act, s. 42 + Regulation Respecting Food, s. 11.7.2
Saskatchewan No specific prohibitions, but a health inspector can decide that any food is unfit for human consumption and enforce the Act accordingly. For an individual:  First offence:  maximum $75,000 fine and further maximum $100 fine for each day during which the offence continues. Second and subsequent offence:  maximum $100,000 fine and further maximum $200 fine for each day during which the offence continues. For a corporation:  First offence: maximum $100,000 fine and further $1,000 fine for each day during which the offence continues. Second or subsequent offence: maximum $250,000 fine and further maximum $5,000 fine for each day during which the offence continues. Public Health Act, ss. 16(b), 18, 19, and 61

Territorial Laws:
Territory: Offence: Penalty: Authority:
Northwest Territories No specific prohibitions, but a health inspector can decide that any food is unfit for human consumption and enforce the Act accordingly. For an individual:  First offence:  maximum $10,000 fine, maximum 6 months jail, or both.  Plus further maximum $1,000 fine for each day during which the offence continues.  Second and subsequent offence:  maximum $25,000 fine, maximum 12 months jail, or both, plus further maximum $2,500 fine for each day during which the offence continues For a corporation:  First offence: maximum $50,000 fine and further maximum $2,500 fine for each day during which the offence continues.   Second and subsequent offence:  maximum $100,000 fine and to a further maximum $5,000 fine for each day during which the offence continues. Public Health Act, ss. 49(1) and 11
Nunavut Selling unpasteurized milk First offence:  Corporation: fine from $1,000 to 500,000.  Individual:  fine from $100 to $50,000, maximum1 year jail, or both.   Second or subsequent offence:  Corporation:  fine from $1,000 to  $1,000,000.  Individual: fine from $100 to $100,000, maximum 1 year jail, or both. Public Health Act, s. 80(2)  +  Milk Regulations, s. 2
Yukon Selling unpasteurized milk Maximum $5,000 fine for each day the offence continues, maximum 6 months jail, or both. Public Health and Safety Act, s. 22  + Regulations Governing The Production And Sale Of Milk And Certain Milk Products, s. 3