Letters to the Editor

Saanich cattle battle rages on

Re: Cattle battle could soon be done (News, March 26)

It’s time to end the farcical confrontation between Saanich and the would-be property developer who – with Agricultural Land Reserve cover – is running a cattle feedlot on Mount Douglas Cross Road.

During our protracted wet season this small feedlot has become a reasonable facsimile of a sewage lagoon. The Saanich News front-page picture of mud and feces-encrusted cattle standing in foul-smelling effluent is not an exaggeration of this fetid operation.

The “family farm” sign on the southern-side of Mt. Doug X Rd. sign is as misleading as the reported description of this sorry mud-and-manure feedlot as a cow farm. The only more green-oriented farm description possible would be vegetable garden. But such an operation would not set up the desired false choice support from nearby residents.

The “false choice” is accepting that the feedlot must be retained or the again-submitted 16-lot subdivision be allowed. Neither need be chosen.


The biologist’s report that there is no environmentally sensitive ecosystem on the property can readily be countered.

A quick start would be a veterinarian’s brief on animal health emphasizing the foot rot, founder, toe abscesses and joint infections risk to which the cattle are subjected. SPCA support might help too. Back-up strategy includes addressing public-health risks incurred by allowing a feedlot in a residential area.

Also disturbing is the related offer by the development proposer of a $100,000 “amenity” for the Gordon Head Resident’s Association. This blatant attempt to bribe the association with such chump change is an insult.

It’s time to consider resident-oriented land use. Let’s start with community park options.

Ron Johnson



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