Fire which killed 4,000 pigs may have been started deliberately

Protestors call for action on factory farm fires. Photo: Alfons Spoler via Wikimedia Commons

One person has been arrested after 4,000 pigs died in a barn fire in Boekel, Noord-Brabant, police said on Monday.

The Sunday night blaze began at around 10.30pm and, police say, seems to have been started deliberately. The N605 road was closed for a time because of the smoke.

Firefighters were able to stop the fire spreading to two other barns on the factory farm but it took until after 3am for the blaze to be doused completely.

According to the AD, the farmer in question was also targeted in 2015, when an attempt was made on his life. He survived because the gun failed to fire and his attacker was sentenced to 12 years in jail.

Some 37,000 animals died in factory farm fires in the Netherlands last year, well down on the 130,000 deaths recorded in 2022. However, the number of fires remained virtually unchanged at 43 compared with 42, according to insurance industry figures.

The downturn in the death toll is due largely to the lack of fires at poultry farms, where far more animals are affected. This January, 50,000 hens were killed in a fire at a farm in Gelderland, beating the 2023 total in one blaze.

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