Two hundred baby cows die in barn fire ‘They were trapped like rats’

Calf looks into camera from behind bars, animal news
Calves locked up at farm, photo: Canva

Two hundred calves died in a barn fire early Wednesday morning in Streefkerk in the Netherlands. The baby cows in the burning shed were in boxes and could not escape. “They were trapped like rats,” a reporter from local Dutch media RTV Rijnmond said.

The fire broke out around 4 a.m. in one of the four large stables at the animal farm. The fire brigade managed to prevent the fire from spreading to the other three stables, where 1000 calves were locked up.

The cause of the fire is unknown. In August 2019, a large barn fire at the same farm killed 1500 pigs.

The Dutch government hasn’t prioritized fire prevention on animal farms despite more than 1.3 million animals dying in barn fires over the past eight years.

In April, 43,000 chickens died in a barn fire in Heusden in the Netherlands. “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 then.

In January, fourteen horses died in a fire near the village of Koningslust in the Netherlands. When the fire started, the horses were locked in the barn and couldn’t escape.

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