43,000 chickens die in barn fire in the Netherlands

Black and white picture of chickens at a farm, animal news
Chicken farm, photo: Canva

A huge fire in two stables on Monday killed 43,000 chickens in the Netherlands. The animals were locked inside the mega stables in Heusden and couldn’t escape the fire. The chickens were burnt alive.

“The animals were trapped like rats and couldn’t go anywhere,” a neighbour who saw the devastating fire from her home told Dutch news channel RTL Nieuws.

Two of the five stables at the farm were completely destroyed. “There were 43,000 chickens standing there. They had nowhere to go,” the neighbour said. The fire brigade said the cause of the fire is unknown.

Nearly 1.3 million animals have died in barn fires in the past eight years in the Netherlands, but the Dutch government hasn’t prioritised preventing fires on animal farms.

Investigative journalism platform Ivestico studied every farm fire since 2012 and concluded that mega-farms go up in flames more easily than conventional farms.

The number of mega-farms has increased in the last few years in Holland, but fire safety requirements seem not to be met, according to Investico.

Recommendations to make mega-farms safer, like creating a way to flee for animals or banning old boilers and geysers, were not adapted by the Dutch government. It also dismissed advice to put a maximum to the size of farms.

The Animal Reader is a small independent animal news platform based in the Netherlands. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

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