By Stephanie Carson
EAGLE SPRINGS, N.C. – After more than 4,000 piglets died this month in a fire at a Moore County pig farm, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is calling on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and meat industry groups to implement rules to prevent future incidents.
The group says the fire at an Eagle Springs pig farm brings the national total to 400,000 animals that have died in factory farm fires, just this year.
"This tragic incident, where 4,000 baby piglets died in yet another preventable factory farm fire, is just another example of how little the national pork producers and factory farmers care about the billions of farm animals that they raise for food," maintains HSUS spokesman Matt Dominguez.
In 2012, 7,000 turkeys perished at a farm in eastern North Carolina.
Dominguez, public policy manager for farm animal protection at HSUS, says these incidents also endanger the lives of firefighters and neighbors.
An NFPA representative says the organization has shared the public comments about this issue with its committee responsible for setting standards, which is reviewing the information.
Dominguez says simple improvements, such as adding ceiling sprinklers in farm facilities, would help protect the animals, as well as the people who work in the community.
"That's what we hope for at the Humane Society of the United States, is that the National Fire Protection Agency and the meat industry itself will agree to commonsense reforms that will prevent these fires from happening in the first place," he says.
Two years ago, the NFPA proposed a rule that would require all newly constructed farm animal housing facilities to be equipped with sprinklers and smoke control systems.
The National Pork Producers Council didn't adopt it at the time, saying the cost would be prohibitive. Audiofile.