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N.L. to back new mink farm

The Newfoundland and Labrador government will back a new mink farm at Notre Dame Bay with $750,000 in start-up costs.

Comfort Cove Farms will get $500,000 from the provincial Agriculture and Agrifoods Development Fund to cover up to 50 per cent of eligible costs for establishing the farm. The provincial innovation, trade and rural development department will put up another $250,000 through its Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) Fund.

Comfort Cove Farm was released from environmental assessment in June; the total cost for the mink farm project is estimated at about $1.87 million. The farm is expected to be in operation by the end of the year, the province said in a release Monday.

“The construction phase of the ranch is now complete and we look forward to beginning operations later this month,” said John Head of Comfort Cove Farms Ltd. in the province’s release.

On top of the jobs to be created on the farm itself, “the operation will benefit local supply and service companies and will create another market for fish offal and other seafood byproducts in the making of feed,” Lewisporte MHA Wade Verge said in the release.

Requirements under the province’s Environmental Assessment Act and the implementation by the operators of new environmental best management practices are expected to ensure the farm is developed and run in an “environmentally-responsible manner,” the province said Monday.

“Our fur farming sector has great potential for further expansion beyond the $9 million in pelt sales projected for 2008 and the 320 people it currently employs,” said Kathy Dunderdale, minister for the province’s Forestry and Agrifoods Agency, in the same release.


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