Letter: Gazette story, commentary decried as slanted and biased

In response to the front page article titled “Local Farmer frustrated with second call to OSPCA” and the Commentary titled “ The good old days becoming a bygone phenomena in Prince Edward County” (The Picton Gazette May 16, 2019), I would like to point out that both these pieces are both biased and as close to “fake news” as I have seen your paper produce.

I hope middle-school and high school teachers will use these two pieces to teach our young people about biased writing and how the media can slant an issue to one side rather than showing both sides of an issue.

The front-page article misrepresents not only the information that should have been offered to the public but totally missed the fact that we are now asking untrained OPP officers to make decisions about large animal care. This is an important issue that could have been discussed.

The photographs do not represent the cow safety issue but show a farmer with a cute lamb with a white cow in the background. Where is the pile of manure, the feeble attempt at straw bedding on a pile of mud and muddy cows knee-deep in mud in the enclosed space where these animals spend their day? That is what is observed by passerbys every day during this wet spring. The second picture is of two young children with a cuddly, relatively clean calf that does not address the issue of this concerned citizen.

There is no grass, no higher ground or any dry area visible from the road for these cows to stand or lay down. The issue is not whether they are not well fed. It was the condition in which these cows live. Perhaps, it could have been discussed how difficult it is for local farmers during such a wet spring. Two years ago, these cows were moved during the wettest part of the spring after a complaint was made. Why were they not this year?

The commentary also did not represent “the good old days” in their true light. When exactly were the good old days? Was it during the time of hard-working Loyalists  who were lucky to live until they were fifty? Was it during the heyday of Barley Days, rum smuggling and canning factories? Was it during the time when people left the county for work elsewhere and land was dirt cheap? Is it during this time when farmers are cutting out hedgerows and planting soy and beans by the hundreds of acres? Yes, The County has changed, everything does.

I hope you will print this letter to let others know that even The Picton Gazette is not infallible and can make mistakes.

Kathy Felkar Picton