Rabbit farm expands on demand
A MILLION-DOLLAR agriculture project will create 11 full-time and 28 indirect jobs in the Kyogle area with the expansion of the Red Shed Rabbit Farm.
The commercial rabbit farm, in Green Pigeon Road, has received $354,700 from the Federal Government's Sustainable Regions Program.
The money will be used to finance stages two and three of the expansion program.
Four new breeding sheds are being built so the company can breed more rabbits to meet the growing demand, both nationally and internationally, for their meat.
One of the purpose-built sheds is expected to house up to 1000 breeding does that will produce up to 60,000 offspring a year.
Other products from the animals, which will be bred and slaughtered on site, will be sold for use in research and in the pharmaceutical industry.
Another goal of the project, which is being financed for 12 months, is to develop a breeding program for the Kyogle White rabbit, suited to local conditions.
Managing director of Red Shed Holdings, Paul McVerry, said the key to the success of the project was how well they could corner this developing niche market for 'the other, other white meat'.
"Rabbit meat has the lowest cholesterol levels of any other meat on the market, and is becoming extremely popular in cafes and restaurants," Mr McVerry said.
"The reason we don't see it so often is because there are no supplies.
"This expansion will make us the largest commercial breeders of rabbits in Australia."
During the three-month construction phase, 10 jobs will be created and more than $400,000 spent locally on contractors and building supplies.