Are you shocked every time you hear about animals dying in a barn fire? Sometimes these news articles even mention that there are no victims. Every time I think: “what about the animals”?
During the event of a fire the animals have nowhere to go. They burn alive or choke on the toxic fumes and flames. It seems that pigs, chickens, or cows increasingly pass away due to barn fires. In the North of Brabant (a province in the south of the Netherlands) this certainly is the case.
According to broadcasting station Brabant, this year more animals have died in a barn fire than the total sum of three years before. “In the last four years more than 22.000 animals passed away in barn fires and 15.000 during this year”, states the broadcasting station.
Smoke detectors are not required
What seems to be the cause of these big failures? It is quite simple. Until today it is not required to have smoke detectors or fire extinguishing water facilities, even though stables are extremely flammable.
“For many years it was custom that pigsties were as badly secured against fires as warehouses storing toilet paper”, according to Dutch animal welfare organisation “Wakker Dier”. However, an animal is not toilet paper. An animal is not a product.
In 2014, the rules regarding fire safety for new barn stables became stricter, but it does not include obligatory smoke detectors. Moreover, the old barn stables remain just as hazardous as before.
More than one hundred thousand dead animals
According to the numbers of the organisation that stands up for animals in factory farms, this year almost as much as 109.000 animals died in barn fires.
Ten thousand pigs died this way in April this year. People living in the surroundings could hear the pigs scream of pain. In July about 4.000 rabbits died. The farmer only managed to save three. A month later 15.000 chickens perished. Maybe we will even catch up to last year’s death toll, when more than 128.000 animals were killed in fire.
Wakker Dier advocates for safer stables that include fire proof walls, adequate fire extinguishing water facilities, and fire detectors. In addition, escape routes should be installed, giving animals a chance to save themselves. I completely agree with the organisation. After all, it is crazy that this is not customary, don’t you agree?