Farming in Cavendish, the Viking way

Tobias Romaniuk
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Mink farm injects $1 million into Trinity South economy annually

One of the thousands of mink at Viking Furs, just outside of the Trinity South community of Cavendish.

It's mid-December at Viking Furs, a mink farm just outside Cavendish, and small squares of paper with numbers scrawled on them are clipped above the mink pens inside a long open-doored barn. Some papers are cream-coloured, others are pinkish. Some pens have no paper on them. In a few days, the pens without a piece of paper will be empty.

Those mink are at the beginning of a journey that ends, likely, wrapped around the shoulders of a person as part of a fur coat.

But first, each mink must be graded, with the best being held back as potential breeding stock.

The farm has a license for 15,000 females, says Viking Farms president Peter Noer, during a tour of the farm.

In one barn, a group of men are classifying the mink. Wearing thick leather gloves, one man lifts a mink from its pen by the tail, carrying it over to the weigh scale. With a practiced move, he swings the mink up and it lands softly on the scale, a clamp of bent metal settling around its neck to keep it in place.

The animal is weighed, and Noer goes from watching the process to stepping in and stroking the mink's coat, leaning over to see how the fur looks like under the light attached to the scale. This one isn't good enough to be breeding stock, he declares.

Editor's note: this feature article by Tobias Romaniuk can be found in its entirety, including more photos, in the Jan. 29, 2013 print edition of The Compass.

For more information, email editor@cbncompass.ca

 

Organizations: The Compass

Geographic location: Cavendish, Trinity South

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Recent comments

  • Donna Bishop
    February 03, 2013 - 18:47

    by-the-way... what is NAPE doing - advertising in this arena ?

  • Steve Thorne
    February 03, 2013 - 12:09

    Anti fur people should really give their heads a shake and get off the classism and self righteousness. I have fur boots. Had them 3 years, wear them all winter, and love the warmth and comfort. I'd have gone through at least two pairs of synthetic ones by now and not had been as warm. I have a fur hat. Had it for about 20 years. Gots lots of use out of it and will fit years to come. Fur mitts. Same thing. Had ones made out of cow too.. No one said a word. They do love the fur ones though The old line that goes along with the rest of the regurgitated talking points I've read here is "Did you know an animal for that?" My answer is this. "Yes. 1 animal. Any idea how many dead animals are downstream of where your clothes came from?" Anyone think the chicken in their fridge died happier knowing it was to be eaten and its feathers thrown away? People need to think more and parrot animal rights nonsense less

  • rhonda parsons
    February 01, 2013 - 13:39

    Those who wear fur should be ashamed to do so. Sadly it has become a global multi-billion dollar industry that kills over 40 million animals annually. The media reinforces the idea of fur being fashionable by showing supermodels, rappers and other celebrities wearing fur and fur trim while remaining silent about the cruelty involved in its production. The fur industry's survival is based on consumers' ignorance. Animals raised in fur mills are killed by anal or vaginal electrocution, which fries them from the inside out and stops their hearts while they are fully conscious. About one quarter of animals caught in the wild with traps escape by chewing their own limbs off (only to be killed by predators). If people knew the ugly truth about fur production, including the industry's use of fur from dogs and cats, they would realize that even a little trim causes animals a lot of unnecessary suffering. People need to wake up to the painful and deadly ordeal that animals like foxes, mink and chinchillas undergo to make a profit for the fur industry. It is without a doubt sickening! Think about the immense suffering these animals have endured, even from birth so that someone , somewhere can wear a fur coat . The fur industry is desperate to hide: the abuse of animals that is a daily part of their inhumane operations. Please educate yourself around the senseless abuse of animals on all levels

  • rhonda parsons
    February 01, 2013 - 13:30

    Those who wear fur should be ashamed to do so. Sadly it has become a global multi-billion dollar industry that kills over 40 million animals annually. The media reinforces the idea of fur being fashionable by showing supermodels, rappers and other celebrities wearing fur and fur trim while remaining silent about the cruelty involved in its production. The fur industry's survival is based on consumers' ignorance. Animals raised in fur mills are killed by anal or vaginal electrocution, which fries them from the inside out and stops their hearts while they are fully conscious. About one quarter of animals caught in the wild with traps escape by chewing their own limbs off (only to be killed by predators). If people knew the ugly truth about fur production, including the industry's use of fur from dogs and cats, they would realize that even a little trim causes animals a lot of unnecessary suffering. People need to wake up to the painful and deadly ordeal that animals like foxes, mink and chinchillas undergo to make a profit for the fur industry. It is without a doubt sickening! Think about the immense suffering these animals have endured, even from birth so that someone , somewhere can wear a fur coat . The fur industry is desperate to hide: the abuse of animals that is a daily part of their inhumane operations. Please educate yourself around the senseless abuse of animals on all levels

  • Humane Pt Two
    January 31, 2013 - 11:41

    I totally agree. This is crazy. They only use the fur, if everything was used it would be a different issue. Time to close this place down.

  • Humane
    January 31, 2013 - 08:57

    We will do anything on this Island for work regardless of how repulsive. Breed, raise and then kill animals that lived in very small cages so that some rich woman can wear it around her body with the perception that she is wealthy and above others. We condone it for a few jobs and people complain if a dog or cat is abused and ignore this aspect of animal crulety. Years ago may have been necessary to keep warm - today it is only a rich persons luxury! We should hang our head in shame.