Fur farm expanding in Cormack

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Na-taillie Ranch aims to increase from 2,500 to 15,000 breeders

By Ashley Fitzpatrick

The Telegram

Na-taillie Ranch in Cormack is under new management, and that management wants to expand the fur farm.

“Our goal is to create one of the largest and technologically advanced mink farms in Canada,” Dag Larsen and Shirlee Weiss state in a filing with the provincial Department of Environment and Conservation.

They would see Na-taillie Ranch move from 2,500 female breeder mink to 15,000 breeders over the course of about two years.

Being able to house 50,000-70,000 black and mahogany mink requires some construction, an extra 20 acres of land and millions in spending up front.

“We bought the farm for $1.5 million. We invested already $1.2 million and we’re going to invest another $4 million,” Larsen said in an interview with The Telegram Thursday.

The plan is to move from four to 10 animal sheds on site, with new additions each about 121 metres long.

The plan is now under environmental assessment, with public comments due Oct. 1.

If given the green light, Larsen wants two more sheds up before the snow comes, with the rest available by winter 2014.

He said the Town of Cormack has welcomed the idea for the re-vamped and expanded enterprise, particularly given features such as an automated manure-handling system for the sheds.

At the end of the expansion, the farm is expected to have eight full-time, regular employees and two foremen.

As long as fur prices remain stable, Larsen expects to pay off the additions after two to three years of production.

“To have any farm today below 10,000 breeders … it’s not very profitable,” he said. “A farm becomes profitable when you have everything from 8,000 up to 25,000 breeders. And you can see in Europe and all the way elsewhere, normally a farm has that.”


Organizations: Department of Environment and Conservation.They

Geographic location: Cormack, Canada, Europe

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Recent comments

  • Cynic
    August 30, 2013 - 08:59

    It isn't cruel, first of all. Your attitude is nothing but a perverse disrespect of ordinary innocent working people. These people do not brutalize their aniumals. If you have evidence of it, provide it. That kind of thinking is very similar to the way fundamentalists think about gay people. They don't approve. They use words like "disordered" and "unnatural" much like you use the word "cruel": an overly emotional word designed to cover up the fact that you have nothing to base your statement on other than your own opinion. Fundies say that marriage isn't "necessary", too. People don't "have" to get married, like they don't "have" to wear fur, or eat meat. They even use the word "perverse". As a gay man targeted by the fundies and having read their anti gay propaganda and as a Newfoundlander targeted by the animal rights industry and having read their propaganda, it's really amazing how similar the two groups think. Granted the issues are different, but the attitude to the issue and their sense of entitlement to express their ignorant and damaging opinions is identical. You exhibit that atittude in spades. Claiming that people you know nothing about are "cruel" just because you don't like the way they make their living and with no evidence other than your illinformed opinion is a horrible thing to do. I have to wonder why you would do that.

  • Jennifer
    August 30, 2013 - 06:26

    It's shocking to think that this is even still a thing that people do. These animals are not consumed, and the only part used is the fur. (Wearing mink in 2013? Hardly fashionable! Makes one think of snooty old ladies. Yuck.) This is nothing but a perverse disrespect of Mother Nature. The female animals are seen as commodities. Time for these wasteful, cruel operations to shrink instead of expand.