Province sets sights on smelly mink farm

James
James McLeod
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Agriculture/controversy

Environment Minister Charlene Johnson emerged Wednesday afternoon with a solution to awful smells coming from a mink farm in Heart's Delight-Islington.

It turns out the chicken offal that Viking Furs was composting for Country Ribbon was illegal. No permit was issued in the first place.

Environment Minister Charlene Johnson speaks to media Wednesday to address concerns about Viking Furs in Hearts Delight-Islington. Johnson said that stopping composting of chicken offal on the farm, the worst of the smell affecting residents should be el

Environment Minister Charlene Johnson emerged Wednesday afternoon with a solution to awful smells coming from a mink farm in Heart's Delight-Islington.

It turns out the chicken offal that Viking Furs was composting for Country Ribbon was illegal. No permit was issued in the first place.

"We've ceased allowing Country Ribbon to bring in any of their waste for composting," Johnson said.

The mink farm has long been a source of complaints for nearby residents, who say it smells bad, but the complaints have been getting louder in the past week when the farm started taking chicken offal - some to feed the mink and some to compost.

Now, Johnson said, the compost heaps have been capped with about a foot of wood shavings, and since they'll no longer be turned, they shouldn't smell.

The farm will still take some material from Country Ribbon for mink feed, and the farm will be doing some active composting of mink carcasses and other waste.

But to address the complaints that have been coming in for a long time, the province said it's hiring a consultant to assess the situation and make recommendations for ways to further reduce the smell.

"Hopefully, that'll address the smell that was there prior to Country Ribbon," Johnson said.

"If it doesn't, in our permit we state clearly that if the odour and flies can't (be) controlled, we can require the company to enclose the site ... or we may look at other options, like moving the composting site."

jmcleod@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: Country Ribbon

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Recent comments

  • C
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    I can't believe that our province is allowing such a horrendous operation to continue here in NL. Are we that desperate for jobs that we have to resort to something like this. And when it is negatively impacting surrounding communities it has gone too far.

    Wanting to be a tourist at home this year, I have driven out that way on a sunny day with the windows down in my car. As I passed a long by that area, I didn't think the smell would ever come out of my car again. It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever smelled in my life. And to think that beyond this smell these animals are raised in cages for the purposes of farming their fur??? Sad sad times indeed.

  • WTF
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Apparently enough people still wear fur to make it profitable business and there's nothing wrong with that. People that decide to live near agriculture areas should expect some smells but the farmer should also take steps to minimize the smells. After all the past complaints he had about the smell why did he decide to take on additional activities that made the situation worse.

  • Animal Lover
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    Why should we be supporting a Mink Farm anyway, who even wears fur anymore.

  • C
    July 01, 2010 - 20:19

    I can't believe that our province is allowing such a horrendous operation to continue here in NL. Are we that desperate for jobs that we have to resort to something like this. And when it is negatively impacting surrounding communities it has gone too far.

    Wanting to be a tourist at home this year, I have driven out that way on a sunny day with the windows down in my car. As I passed a long by that area, I didn't think the smell would ever come out of my car again. It was one of the most disgusting things I have ever smelled in my life. And to think that beyond this smell these animals are raised in cages for the purposes of farming their fur??? Sad sad times indeed.

  • WTF
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Apparently enough people still wear fur to make it profitable business and there's nothing wrong with that. People that decide to live near agriculture areas should expect some smells but the farmer should also take steps to minimize the smells. After all the past complaints he had about the smell why did he decide to take on additional activities that made the situation worse.

  • Animal Lover
    July 01, 2010 - 19:59

    Why should we be supporting a Mink Farm anyway, who even wears fur anymore.