Rodents gnawing through electricity cables are the likely reason for most unexplained factory farm fires, the Telegraaf reported on Wednesday.
According to pest control advice centre KAD in Wageningen, factory farm owners must do more to keep ‘pyro mice’and rats away from where the animals are kept.
Insurers should be more critical when considering insurance claims and owners who do not have a continuous contract to combat rodents or a pest control certificate to state they can do it themselves should get nothing in case of a fire caused by rodents, the paper writes.
‘The role of rodents in infernos such as this is being underestimated. We think more than half of unexplained farm fires are down to insufficiently insulated cabling which has been gnawed at by mice or rats,’ KAD biologist Albert Weijman told the paper.
The call for more stringent rules for the prevention of factory farm fires comes in the wake of a devastating fire in Erichem in which 20,000 pigs died. Its cause has not been established yet.
According to Joop de Jonge of the PvdD, fire safety at factory farms leaves much to be desired. ‘None of the factory farms has compartments, sprinklers or fire detectors, he told the Gelderlander.
Insurance association Verbond van Verzekeraars told the Telegraaf that contracts with farmers are already stringent when it comes to the fire safety of animal holding areas.