Fire Protection for Farmed Animals: Keep Up the Pressure!
S&R Egg Farm, La Grange, WI Photo: WGN.org, Feb. 2, 2014
Despite overwhelming public support for fire protection for farmed animals, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) –“The Authority on
Fire, Electrical & Building Safety” – is not yet hearing the cries of millions of chickens, turkeys, pigs and other animals trapped in the
burning buildings from which their only escape is through death by asphyxiation and being burned alive. So far this year, over 400,000 farmed animals
– mainly chickens – have died in burning buildings in the United States – and these are just the fires that have been reported. For
Jan. 2014, 300,000 chickens at the S&R Egg Farm in La Grange, Wisconsin died in a building fire.
- Jan. 2014, 3,700 pigs at New Horizons Farms near Hardwick, Minnesota died in a building fire.
Feb. 2014, 1,000 pigs near Lafayette, Minnesota died in a building fire.
Nov. 4, 2014, 20,000 chickens at Longenecker Farm near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania died in a building fire.
The buildings in which these animals are trapped do not have sprinklers or smoke control systems. The NFPA is in a position to reject the U.S. agribusiness
lobby’s claim that installing sprinklers and smoke control systems in farmed animal housing facilities is too expensive. Nothing shows more clearly
the extent to which agribusiness does not care about these poor animals. Nothing shows more clearly how important it is that the NFPA use its authority to
mandate fire protection for farmed animals, the same as it does for animals, for example, in zoos.
In an email to United Poultry Concerns on October 17, 2014, Dawn Bellis, Secretary of the NFPA Standards Council, replied to our inquiry about the status
of their deliberations on fire protection for “Category B” animals (farmed animals) that the Second Draft Report of NFPA 150, including all
public comments submitted to them this year, will be included within the Report of NFPA 150, Standard for Fire & Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities. The Report will be available for viewing on January 16, 2015 at
www.nfpa.org/150next. We will update our members as information becomes available.
The NFPA has a set of fundamental principles already in place:
The requirements of NFPA 150 recognize the following fundamental principles: (1) Animals are sentient beings with a value greater than that of simple
property. (2) Animals, both domesticated and feral, lack the ability of self-preservation when housed in buildings and other structures. (3) Current
building, fire, and life safety codes do not address the life safety of the animal occupants. The requirements found in NFPA 150 are written with the
intention that animal housing facilities will continue to be designed, constructed, and maintained in accordance with the applicable building, fire, and
life safety codes.
Please write a polite letter to the NFPA urging that the standards applicable to other categories of animals be adopted on behalf of Category B animals
(farmed animals), the largest number of fire victims in the United States each year. Request a written response to your plea on behalf of these animals. No
animal should ever have to die in a preventable fire.
Dawn Bellis, Secretary
NFPA Standards Council
National Fire Protection Association
1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02169