One million animals died in farm fires in Holland

Chicken factory farm, © Jo-Anne McArthur / Djurrattsalliansen
Chicken factory farm, © Jo-Anne McArthur / Djurrattsalliansen, Sweden, 2012

Over one million pigs, chickens, cows, turkeys and other animals were killed in fires in farms in Holland over the last eight years.

The platform for investigative journalism Ivestico researched every farm fire since 2012 and concluded that mega-farms go up in flames easier than conventional farms.

One out of every 32 mega-farms for chickens en pigs burned down in the past three years; with regular farms, one in every 323 farms goes up in flames.

A mega-farm is a farm that houses more than 7500 slaughter pigs, 1200 breeding pigs, 120,000 laying hens, 250 dairy cows, 2500 veal calves, or 1500 goats.

The number of those bigger farms has increased in the last few years in Holland. Farms were build to house over 7500 pigs or 220,000 chickens. But in creating these huge farms, fire safety requirements seem not to be met, according to the investigation of Investico.

Recommendations to make the mega-farms safer, like creating a way to flee for animals or banning old boilers and geyser, were not adapted. Even recent advice to put a maximum to the size of farms was also dismissed.

The last farm fire in Holland happened a week ago in Biddinghuizen. Eight thousand turkeys died in the fire. According to a spokesperson of the fire department, the sawdust on the floor was burning and there was a lot of smoke development.

The turkeys could not flee from the fire and burned to death. The Dutch animal welfare organization Animal Rights filmed the turkey farm in 2018.

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