More chickens die in farm fire, animal death toll this year hits 174,000

Just a week after 42,000 chickens died in a fire at a factory farm in Friesland, a further 16,000 birds have died in a blaze at a farm in Nijkerk, in Gelderland.

The fire completely destroyed the barn where the chickens were kept, but the fire brigade were able to prevent it spreading to a second barn, local broadcaster Omroep Brabant reported.

The blaze is the latest in a string of fires at factory farms in the Netherlands. According to animal rights lobby group Wakker Dier, there have been 12 factory farm fires this year, killing 174,000 birds and pigs. The biggest, involving 100,000 chickens, was in early July.

Last year 122,000 animals died in fires at factory farms in the Netherlands but the government said it would not force farmers to take further measures to prevent fires breaking out because of the cost of the investment.

The current measures do not include compulsory lightning conductors and sprinkler systems.

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