Livestock farm project angered Trinity Bay South group

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The negative consequences of adding 100 cattle to an already controversial mink farm in Trinity Bay far outweigh the property, according to the region’s environmental committee.

Viking Fur Inc. is working to diversify its existing mink farm in Cavendish to include Belted Galloway beef cattle. The proposal is currently undergoing an environmental assessment by the provincial government.

“It’s deeply disturbing that we’re even considering this,” said Jerry Byrne, chair of the Trinity Bay South Environmental Committee.

“We would love to have farms in the province, we love sustainability, we love progress, we love development. [saying] ‘Not in my garden’ but really you have to go out to enjoy it, ”he said.

“It shouldn’t be in our backyard.”

‘Astonishing’

Byrne points to long-standing issues between area residents and the company, which has been in business since 2004.

The mink farm has drawn continued criticism for the stench, masses of flies and runaway animals that are known to munch on local residents’ chickens.

Although co-owner of the farm, Peter Noer, insists the cattle will no longer add odor to the farm, Byrne believes otherwise.

“How do you add 100 cows in an area between two nice little towns and not cause more odors? It’s really quite amazing,” Byrne said Thursday.

Close elsewhere?

Noer told CBC News on Wednesday his company was trying to capitalize on an increased need for food self-sufficiency by adding local beef.

The proposed development will include an additional 117 hectares of Crown land, which will need to be cleared, seeded and fertilized.

However, Byrne said the proposed development will hurt the economy by keeping tourists away and harm the environment.

“You are going to hit everything [those trees] and having cows that produce high levels of methane. There are a lot of sensitive peatlands and waterways in the area, ”he said.

“The province has identified hundreds of thousands of acres and some not too far from here, and why we’re going to put this between two beautiful cities and cause the heartache it has caused.”

Byrne owns The Doctor’s House Inn and Spa in Green’s Harbor, about eight miles from the Mink Farm, which often hosts outdoor weddings.

Viking Fur co-owner Peter Noer says the addition of livestock will help the province become more food self-sufficient. (Mark Quinn / CBC)

As they did in a similar request in 2017, the Environment Committee plans to submit its opposition to the proposal.

The Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Environment said all public comments will be considered before the minister releases final guidelines for the environmental impact study in Noer.

The government will decide whether the application complies with the Environmental Protection Act and EIA guidelines.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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