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The farm owners say they expect to have 2,000 adult females and up to 10,000 young. ((CBC))

People opposed to a new mink farm in Queens County on Prince Edward Island took their concerns to the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission Wednesday.

Those against the farm want the commission to overturn a building permit for the Springton facility, even though barns have already been built there.

Allistair MacIntosh, a retired beef farmer, is leading the opposition.

At a commission hearing that began Wednesday, MacIntosh said he got a nasty surprise getting ready to make his case. He found out the two barns at the farm are nearly twice as large as indicated in the original building permit application.

"You know we're dealing with 150 per cent more square footage than what we were originally told," MacIntosh told CBC News.

MacIntosh said he didn't hear about the change until he launched his appeal.

Expansion approved

P.E.I. Environment officials said they approved the change to the size of the barns. Even with the bigger barns, the proposal still met environmental and zoning requirements.

Farm owners Ryan MacPhee and Wade Peconi told the commission the number of animals would still remain the same even with the expansion.

"The mink have more room to grow; they have more room to run. It's just better for the mink in general," MacPhee told CBC news.

The owners say the farm would have 2,000 adult females and, after those females are bred, up to 10,000 young.

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The barns are larger than the size indicated on the initial building permit application. ((CBC))

Longtime mink farmer Peter Peters, from Souris, will also have a stake in the enterprise. The commission heard that Peters would own the animals while MacPhee and Peconi will raise them on a contract basis.

MacPhee and Peconi plan to wait for the commission's decision on the appeal before putting animals in their facility.

There is already a mink farm in the area, and many neighbours say it smells bad. More than 100 people have signed a petition against the new farm.

MacIntosh said he would like the province to create a community committee to keep tabs on this farming operation. He also said he and a local veterinarian should be on the committee.