Around 9,000 pigs died Wednesday afternoon from a huge barn fire in Sint-Oedenrode in the Netherlands. “What a terrible disaster, what a terrible death! Nine thousand pigs perished in flames,” Dutch animal welfare organization Eyes on Animals said on social media platform Twitter.
The large fire broke out at a pig company with multiple barns with thousands of pigs locked inside. Two barns burned down completely, killing 9,000 pigs. The animals couldn’t escape.
The fire broke out around noon and was under control around 3 pm. The emergency services fought the fire with heavy equipment and raised the alarm because of the size of the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Due to the large fire and smoke development, the fire brigade did not enter the stables but let them burn out in a controlled manner. Their focus was on preventing the fire from spreading.
Two small stables with around 1400 pigs next to the burning stables have been saved.
“It was initially unknown that as many as 9,000 pigs were in the burning barn. It was thought that there were ‘only’ a few hundred. It is not known whether this influenced the decision to extinguish the fire in a controlled manner,” Animals Today reported.
According to Dutch animal welfare organization Wakker Dier, the affected pig barns are so-called mega barns housing thousands of pigs.
Even though barn fires are common in the Netherlands, the Dutch government refuses to prioritize fire prevention on animal farms despite more than 1.3 million animals dying in stable fires over the past eight years.