Sunday 28 November 2021

10,000 pigs die in Dutch factory farm fire

Pigs on a factory farm. Photo: Depositphotos

Pigs on a factory farm. Photo: Depositphotos

At least 10,000 pigs have died in a fire at a massive pig farm in Oirschot near Eindhoven.

The fire started in the early evening in one of three barns at the farm and quickly spread to a second, sending plumes of smoke into the sky, officials said. A third barn and the farmhouse itself were saved but it took fire officers until 10.30 pm to put out the fire.

One eyewitness told local broadcaster Omroep Brabant that the police said the blaze had also released a large quantity of asbestos into the atmosphere.

Others spoke of the noise made by the pigs as they burned to death. ‘Their cries were pitiful,’ one said.

Investigation

Omroep Brabant said an investigation into the cause of the fire has now begun. The farm business itself, Maandonks Fokvarkens, was reportedly declared bankrupt last month.

In 2013, the cabinet said it is taking steps to improve fire safety standards in the intensive livestock farming sector after a string of major fires in which tens of thousands of pigs have died.

Fires at Dutch poultry farms are not uncommon either. In July 2013, 10,000 chickens died in a fire in Limburg. In November 2012, nearly 50,000 chickens were killed in a fire near Utrecht and in July 2011, 170,000 died in a similar fire in Drenthe.

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