United Poultry Concerns Petition to the National Fire Protection Association
Imagine the horror: 300,000 egg-laying hens, trapped in one of 14 buildings, died in a massive fire at the S&R Egg Farm in La Grange, Wisconsin January 31, 2014. Preventable fires are frequent in farmed animal housing facilities in which thousands of chickens, turkeys, pigs, dairy cows and other animals are helplessly confined and totally unprotected from fires because agribusiness refuses to install sprinklers and smoke control systems.
For example in 2012, more than 600,000 farmed animals – mainly chickens and turkeys – died in fires in commercial housing facilities in the United States, and these are just the publicly reported fires.
Responding to the tragedy of unprotected farmed animals, in 2012, the National Fire Protection Association – “the authority on fire, electrical, and building safety” – passed an amendment recommending that all newly-constructed farm animal housing facilities be equipped with sprinklers and smoke control systems. NFPA Technical Committee member, Joe Scibetta, pleaded to the committee:
“When caught in a fire, animals don’t understand why they can’t breathe or why they are in such agony. They do, however, perceive and are conscious of the terrible sensations of burning, suffocation, and pain. . . . In commercial animal housing facilities, when we confine animals to suit human purposes, we have an obligation to secure fire protection for them, especially due to the fact that in most of the recent . . . animal housing fire cases, humans were not on hand to effect rescue.”
Unfortunately, the agribusiness lobby for the poultry and egg, dairy, pork and beef industries killed the amendment claiming that fire protection installations would cost too much. Despite overwhelming initial support for the amendment to protect farmed animals from preventable fires, some members of the NFPA’s Technical Committee listened to the agribusiness lobby, and changed their vote.
Please sign this petition urging the National Fire Protection Association to pass an amendment mandating the owners of farmed animal housing facilities to install sprinklers and smoke control devices to protect chickens and other farmed animals from preventable fires.
United Poultry Concerns
UPC’s National Fire Protection Association campaign for farmed animals
S&R Egg Farm, La Grange, WI Photo: WGN.org, Feb. 2, 2014