Fact Sheet Changes to Milk Quality Regulations Implementation date: May 1, 2018


Source: Dairy Farmers of Ontario


While the following two examples are based on SCC penalties, the same system will apply for bacteria penalties. Each column shows the SCC test results for a given month (June, July and August). Normal results (less than 200,000) appear in white. Elevated results (between 200,000 and 400,000) appear in yellow, and penalty-level test results (greater than 400,000) appear in red. A counter in the column next to each penalty-level test result keeps track of the number of SCC demerits in the month.

Example 1 (SCC in thousands):

If this is the producer’s first penalty in a rolling 12-month period, a $3 per hectolitre charge would be applied to all milk shipped during the month of August. Second and subsequent penalties increase to $4 and $5 per hectolitre, respectively. If the producer incurs four SCC penalties in a rolling 12-month period, the dairy facility would be shut-off from the milk market.

Example 2 (SCC in thousands):

Because there are no demerits in August, this producer avoids a penalty for this month, regardless of the number of demerits in June and July. Calculating the % demerit for the rolling three-month period ending in August is not applicable.

No demerits in August = No penalty in August

While this producer is not assessed a penalty in August, they may have received a penalty in June and July, depending on the test results in previous months. Remember, the demerits in July will be used for penalty calculation in September if there is at least one demerit in September.

Test results for milk shipped on and after the implementation date count towards penalty calculation under the demerit system. Penalties applied under the previous penalty programs within a rolling 12-month period are carried forward.


Under the new regulations, the dollar value of the first penalty-level abnormal freezing point (AFP) test result in a rolling 12-month period will be $0. This means a penalty level will be applied without financial consequences, effectively turning the first-level penalty into a “warning”.

The producer will receive a “warning” notification for the first penalty-level test result in a rolling 12- month period. However, if an inhibitor is found in the milk sample, including cleaning or sanitizing chemicals, an inhibitor penalty will be applied ($6, $9 and $12 per hectolitre for first, second and third level penalty, respectively).

A minimum of 18 days are required between AFP test results for penalty calculation. A charge of $3 per hectolitre will be applied on all milk shipped during the month a second-level penalty was incurred. Third and subsequent penalties increase to $4 and $5 per hectolitre, respectively. If a producer incurs four AFP penalties in a rolling 12- month period, the dairy facility will be shut-off from the milk market.


The new animal care and welfare regulations will become part of the Grade A inspection program and include:

a. prohibition of docking cattle’s tails unless medically necessary as determined and documented by a veterinarian;

b. prohibition of housing cattle whose tails are docked on or after May 1, 2018 unless done in accordance with the above requirement;

c. provision of clean and comfortable housing;

d. cattle hooves in good condition;

e. provision of adequate ration and access to water;

f. animal identification per federal regulations;

g. adherence to provincial and federal animal transportation regulations;

h. proper storage of deadstock until removal or disposal per provincial regulations; and i. provision of veterinary report and requirement to follow orders issued by Director of Regulatory Compliance when there is evidence of potential animal welfare issues.





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