- . Directorate-General for Research Assuring Safety In The Food Chain: A European Research PriorityBinding : Taschenbuch, Label : Dictus Publishing, Publisher : Dictus Publishing, medium : Taschenbuch, numberOfPages : 68, publicationDate : 2011-03-30, authors : . Directorate-General for Research, publishers : European Commission, ISBN : 3843331510
BARNEVELD / THE HAGUE (ANP) Preventing barn fires, which kill an average of 143,000 animals every year, is not a priority. Not with the livestock sector and not with the relevant Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality. On the contrary, the ministry sees no reason to draw up additional rules to improve fire safety in large stables. She sees a fire in which 130,000 poultry or 7,000 pigs die as an « acceptable risk ».
The Dutch Safety Board (OVV) reports this on Wednesday after more than eighteen months of investigation. OVV chairman Jeroen Dijsselbloem calls the number of dead animals « shocking » and « very sad ».
NOT EXECUTED In recent years, despite various action plans, the number of barn fires, in which the animals had nowhere to go and therefore regularly burned alive, has even increased. The number of animals that die in such a fire is also increasing every year. « In the political decision-making about possible additional regulations, the costs for livestock farmers and the livestock sector as a whole were decisive, » the council said in the report. Therefore, measures that were seen as promising were not implemented either.
MORE COMPLETE The OVV believes that the minister must ensure that barn fires « diminish substantially and structurally ». Adequate regulation and supervision must also be introduced for this substantial reduction, according to the council. The ministry must take final responsibility, writes the OVV. « The voluntary approach has not worked, it must be tackled more compellingly and urgently, » said Dijsselbloem.
BROOS CARRYING SURFACE Critical and campaigning farmers play a role in the background as the reason why no measures are taken, the council states. « This fragile support is a barrier for central government to impose additional rules on fire safety. »
BUSINESS RISK To date, according to the council, the sector and the ministry have approached barn fires mainly from « a business-economic perspective », in which the fires are seen as « a business risk ». The expenditure to improve safety is mainly seen as a cost item that must be « recouped ». The OVV believes that someone who keeps farm animals is responsible for the health and welfare, and therefore also for the safety of those animals.
In the coming year, the Dutch Safety Board will monitor whether the recommendations are being followed up.
LTO NEDERLAND WANTS MORE CLEARNESS ABOUT BARN FIRES
There must be more clarity about the cause of barn fires, says farmers’ organization LTO Nederland. In half of the cases it is still unclear what caused a fire. This makes preventive measures, which are crucial according to LTO, more difficult to take, the organization says in response to the report of the Dutch Safety Board (OVV).
That body concluded that the prevention of stable fires has a low priority for the sector. However, according to LTO, livestock farmers are continuously taking steps to prevent barn fires. Partly because of this, the risk is already very small, but if it occurs, the consequences are still great.
STORAGE SAFER LTO itself works together with various other parties such as insurers, the fire brigade and the animal protection organization to make stables safer for animals, but that has not yet yielded the desired result. That is why the trade association wants to do more, because barn fires are « terrible for animals, entrepreneurs and their environment ». A party that has the opportunity to take final responsibility and make adjustments, as proposed by the OVV, therefore thinks LTO is a good plan.
LARGER ROLLING TECHNOLOGY At the same time, the organization points to the increasing role of technology in livestock farming, such as manure robots. These could potentially lead to greater risks of fire, but come into the barn to meet social pressure. Farmers are therefore stuck, according to LTO. At the same time, the organization recognizes that because of the extra technology, farmers must also be more aware of the risks of fire.
However, not all farmers have money for all measures. LTO therefore asks the government to help entrepreneurs.
FIRE BRIGADE: ‘EVERY BARN FIRE IS ONE TOO MANY’
The Netherlands Fire Service has been working on action plans to increase fire safety in cattle sheds for years. The organization does this together with, among others, the agricultural organization LTO Nederland, the Animal Protection and the Dutch Association of Insurers.
“Steps have been taken, but we do not see enough of that reflected in the figures. That is disappointing, because every barn fire is one too many ”, says Roelf Knoop of the umbrella organization in response to the report of the Dutch Safety Board on barn fires.
TRAUMATIC According to the Fire Service Netherlands, a stable fire causes a lot of animal suffering and is traumatic for the farmer and his family. The impact on firefighters is also enormous. Extinguishing a stable fire is often an almost impossible task, according to the organization. Sometimes tens of thousands of animals die in the flames.
SHORT CIRCUIT In the Fire Safe Livestock Action Plan 2018-2022, agreements have been made on, among other things, the inspection of electricity in livestock sheds and the control of rodents, which often cause short circuits due to gnawed pipes.
The Netherlands Fire Service advises police forces to carefully investigate stable fires in order to gain more knowledge about, among other things, the development of such a fire. The Netherlands Fire Service also wants a national registration of stable fires. “This report of the Dutch Safety Board undoubtedly makes an extra contribution to fewer barn fires and fewer animal victims. That’s what it’s all about, ”says Knoop.
ANIMAL ORGANIZATIONS HAPPY WITH SHED FIRE REPORT
Animal organizations are pleased with the results of the report of the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) on stable fires. The Animal Protection, like the OVV, believes that the government should take the lead in making stables safer. Wakker Dier thinks it is good that it is recognized how great the animal suffering is.
The OVV states in the report that the prevention of stable fires is not a priority for the livestock sector and the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.
MONEY AND ANIMAL WELFARE According to the Animal Protection, this is often because money is more important than animal welfare. “Most livestock farmers simply do not have the money to invest in fire prevention. In this case, the price of cheap meat is very fire-hazardous stables. ” Animal Protection wants stables to be less close to each other, so that fire spreads less easily and that better heat and smoke detection is achieved in the stables.
KILOKNALLER-RELIGIE Wakker Dier is pleased that the report emphasizes how bad the situation is. “It is unacceptable and it cannot be denied now. This abuse is a direct result of years of multi-million dollar religion; the price is sacred, animal welfare should not cost a penny. It is now up to the government and the sector to finally give the animals the protection they deserve. ”