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Prevent fire in animal stables

In 2018, as much as 100,500 chickens, 520 goats (mostly pregnant) and 35 cows died during a fire in their stables. We asked our followers if it should become mandatory to install costly fire-protection measures in established stables. We received more than 100 reactions. In this blog, we will share a number of these responses with you.

Almost everyone agreed that fire protection should become mandatory. Maaike van Veen states: “It should be compulsory to design stables in such a way that animals have an escape route during a fire. It is a disgrace that so many animals have perished like this.” Marianne Smeding concurs: “It is inexplicable that in a “civilized” society this is tolerated. Year after year, millions of animals die of a horrible tortuous death.” Hedy Miranda adds to this: “In a monastery or in a senior living facility it is not allowed to lit candles to ensure fire safety, which I get. Why then, is it not possible to implement strict regulation topreventfire in stables? Everything is about money. Animal suffering is not a priority…Don’t you think that is barbaric?” Biana Tak also does not understand: “Obviously this has to become mandatory. There are fire regulations for everything, but not for animal stables?? The industry at large has just been carrying on and really needs to be re-examined. There are so many abusive conditions and the NVWA does not appear to be doing their job accurately, as there are almost no checks. The government even voted against regulations to make fire prevention obligatory. What a bunch of simpletons. It drives me crazy how little the government is concerned with animal welfare. Although, we can all play a part by switching to a plant-based diet, which is good for ourselves, the environment, and for animals.”Marlies Mennes shares the same opinion: “That this is even a question instead of a fact, tells me how carelessly and without respect animals are being treated! It is absolutely UNacceptable that so many animals are burnt alive! OBVIOUSLY, it should become mandatory to make stables fire proof. If that costs too much, then one should not keep any animals anyway. However, it would be even better to not keep animals confined in stables on such a large scale. Also, it would be good to keep a plant-based diet as this is better for humans, animals, and the environment.” Anneke Lipss agrees that fire prevention should be mandatory, however wonders about the following: “Clearly everyone would say yes to this question. However, the real question is ‘how to do this?’ I think that the farmers should be given subsidies to make their stables fire proof. In addition, the number of animals per stable should be reduced, and especially the farmers should be paid more for their products, so that they can farm in a more animal friendly way.” Ineke Jansen-Ablas blames politicians: “the political parties that are inhibiting these kinds of regulations ought to be ashamed of themselves. Huge profits are made of the export of meat and dairy, as well as live animals, which should be prohibited, but ensuring a decent and relatively safe life for these animals is not included in this picture…which is outrageous!” Danielle de Jonge thinks it is the responsibility of the farmers:” A concerned entrepreneur would care for their business. The question is how concerned they are regarding their animals. Based on all the adversities and fires in the industry, I would say they do not care. Merely financial reasons are driving the company, which indicates that businesspersons like that are not worthy of the entrepreneurial life style. Compliance and enforcement is the only option to motivate them.” Toos Zeguers agrees with this statement: “Obviously farmers should become obligated to install fire safety measures in their stables! These regulations would not be necessary if they would take any responsibility for the safety of their animals. But if these farmers would actually care about animals, they would have never wanted to work in concentrated animal feeding operation or be part of the industry! Their actions speak louder than words!”

According to some there is a different issue at heart. Andre Donker mentions: “For me the question is whether we still want to obtain animal products from these types of industries.  My answer is: “NO”. Within my discussion, I exclude the animal unfriendly industry. To make the industry more fireproof does not improve the wellbeing of the animals in the industry. It only prevents things from becoming worse in case of a fire.” Gertie Ploeg agrees: “We treat animals like products, not like sentient beings. We make them suffer for our needs. The concentrated animal feeding operations and factory farming industry should be banned! Meanwhile, as long as the industry exists, farmers have to be obliged to make their stable fire proof…” Stella Bronwasser states the following: “Fire safety installations are a band-aid to an arterial bleeding. The real issue is the industrial scale on which animals are being “processed and produced”. As long as the consumer is not willing to pay more for their meat, fish, or chicken, farmers will continue to process animals in the cheapest possible way. It does not make sense to force more costs onto farmers in a faulty system. We have to transform to a system in which farmers can produce sustainably and consumers are paying “the real price” for animal products. “Ronal Blom is also against the industry: “It is truly disgusting, every year there are more and more fires in animal stables. And why? The factory farming industry is madness, as well as the second biggest polluter after the oil industry. For instance, rainforests are being burnt down to produce animal feed for the factory farming industry as well as biomass for fuel. Moreover, because of this habitat destruction biodiversity is slayed and climate change is increasing, spinning out of our control.