Speak up to save cattle from deadly barn fires. Action Level: Federal
Action Level: Federal
OAA Program Area: Humane Education
In the wake of the horrific fire at South Fork Dairy in Dimmitt, Texas, that killed more than 18,000 cows, the dairy industry must do more to prevent fires and protect animals from such gruesome deaths.
Some farm animals die almost immediately as fires burn through the barns, while others have to be euthanized later due to severe burns and smoke inhalation. This has a devastating impact not only on the animals who suffer, but also on farmers and producers that must rebuild after such a tragic event or lose their livelihood altogether.
In order to prevent such tragic events from happening again and again, it is critical for the National Dairy FARM Program to strengthen its animal care standards with respect to fire prevention and suppression.
What You Can Do:
Please use the sample letter below to send your comments to the National Dairy FARM Program, requesting stronger national fire safety standards for barn structures. You can contact the National Dairy FARM Program at the following email addresses:
National Dairy FARM Program- email@example.com
Emily Yeiser Stepp, Executive Director- firstname.lastname@example.org
Beverly Hampton Phifer, Director of Animal Care- email@example.com
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Dear National Dairy FARM Program:
In the wake of the horrific fire at South Fork Dairy in Dimmitt, Texas, that killed more than 18,000 cows, I strongly believe the dairy industry must do more to prevent fires and protect animals from such gruesome deaths. Some of these farm animals die almost immediately as fires burn through the barns, while others have to be euthanized later due to severe burns and smoke inhalation. It is hard to imagine the suffering experienced by these cows, as well as the suffering of the many other animals killed in fires on dairy operations prior to this incident. Your organization pledges to hold the dairy industry to the highest standards. This should include holding it to the highest standards for fire prevention and safety.
I am disappointed to hear that past recommendations for stronger fire safety standards were not incorporated into the FARM Program’s animal care standards. In light of the South Fork Dairy incident, it is imperative that these recommendations be revisited and producers do more to prevent barn fires.
At minimum, the FARM Program should require compliance with the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities Code (NFPA 150). This would ensure that farms are subject to annual fire safety inspections performed by experts, buildings contain fire extinguishers, farm personnel receive prevention and response training, and buildings are equipped with fire alarms that notify emergency personnel. Additionally, operations should have evacuation plans for animals housed indoors, and there should be limits on the number of animals confined to one building.
I hope lessons can be learned from this incident so that no animal experiences being burned alive in a fire that could have been prevented. Thank you for your consideration.
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