This is a judicial review of the decisions made on administrative review for the return of seized animals under the Animal Protection Act.
An inspector from the Department of Agriculture seized a heard of cattle and determined not to return them. The inspector did not give the farmers an opportunity to propose an alternative, although the statute required as much. Upon review, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture decided that the inspector had acted reasonably.
The Deputy Minister’s role on review had to be determined correctly. His role was to assess new and old evidence and exercise an independent judgment. Also, his finding that the inspector had sought the cooperation of the farmers was unreasonable.
The Court found that the Deputy Minister engaged in unreasonable fact-finding when he found that the seizing official sought the cooperation of the owners. Thus, declaring that the seizure was unlawful and that the proceeds of the sale of the animals belonged to the owners, not the government.
Source: Case Law
Jurisdiction: Nova Scotia