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Agribusiness Coalition Opposes Fire Safety Controls in Animal Confinement Facilities

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Originally Posted: July 23, 2012

Agribusiness Coalition Opposes Fire Safety Controls in Animal Confinement Facilities

[Ed. Note: Also read 500,000 Chickens Perish in Factory Farm Fire in Colorado]

FROM United Poultry Concerns (UPC)

ACTION

Let the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) know that you care about farm animals and want them protected from preventable fires, just as the NFPA has commendably recommended. Urge the NFPA to deny the industry appeal and uphold its proposed amendment. UPC’s letter follows this Contact Information.

In July, 15 industry groups including US Poultry and Egg Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, and United Egg Producers appealed the NFPA’s decision to require fire sprinklers and smoke control systems in farm animal facilities, claiming these fire safety devices are too expensive and of no benefit to production. It’s cheaper to let animals and buildings burn up and collect the insurance.

National Fire Protection Association
1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02169-7471
phone (617) 770-3000
fax (+1 617) 770-0700
stds_admin@nfpa.org
publicaffairs@nfpa.org

egg, laying hen, battery, cage

INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) passed an amendment in June requiring farm animal housing facilities to be equipped with fire sprinklers and smoke control systems. The NFPA – the world’s leading advocate of fire prevention – sought to expand its 150 Standard for Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities to cover farm animal confinement buildings, in which tens of thousands of birds and mammals suffocate and burn to death each year in the United States. In May, for example, 500,000 hens burned to death on a Colorado egg farm. In June, 7,000 turkeys burned to death in a Butterball facility in North Carolina.

In July, 15 industry groups including US Poultry and Egg Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, and United Egg Producers appealed the NFPA’s decision to require fire sprinklers and smoke control systems in farm animal facilities, claiming these fire safety devices are too expensive and of no benefit to production. It’s cheaper to let animals and buildings burn up and collect the insurance.

The industry appeal is likely to be heard in August. Please let the National Fire Protection Association know that you care about farm animals and want them protected from preventable fires, just as the NFPA has commendably recommended. Urge the NFPA to deny the industry appeal and uphold its proposed amendment. UPC’s letter follows this Contact Information.

United Poultry Concerns Letter to the National Fire Protection Association

July 19, 2012

National Fire Protection Association
1 Batterymarch Park
Quincy, MA 02169-7471

On behalf of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl, I am writing to commend the NFPA for approving an amendment to the 150 Standard for Fire & Life Safety in Animal Housing that would require installations of smoke and sprinkler control systems in animal housing facilities that contain, without any means of escape, thousands of chickens, turkeys, ducks, pigs and other farm animals, designated as “Category B.”

We are dismayed to learn, however, that the NFPA’s commendable and much needed fire protection amendment for these animals has been withdrawn in response to an industry coalition opposing it. We respectfully urge the NFPA to uphold its original decision to require installations of smoke and sprinkler control systems in Category B animal facilities.

Poultry and livestock producer opposition to such minimal protections for their defenseless animals as sprinklers and smoke control systems should be resisted by the NFPA. Please do not give in to industry’s preference for allowing thousands of animals to endure the terror and physical agony of suffocation and being burned to death in a fire-trap building, rather than installing the fire protection systems the NFPA has rightly recommended.

Here are just two examples, in 2012, of the horror endured by tens of thousands of birds in industry fires of the type and frequency that the NFPA amendment could mitigate if not completely eliminate:

“500,000 chickens killed in egg farm fire” in Colorado, May 1, 2012
http://wtvr.com/2012/05/01/500000-chickens-killed-in-egg-farm-fire/

“Fire at turkey house ruled accidental” in North Carolina (killing 7,000 turkeys), June 13, 2012
http://www2.wnct.com/news/2012/jun/13/9/7000-turkeys-killed-morning-fire-ar-2353778/

We urge the National Fire Protection Association to reverse its decision to withdraw the amendment at the behest of industries that prefer to let animals suffer and die horribly in preventable fires each year and collect the insurance, rather than to invest in a fire protection system. Please uphold your original amendment. We look forward to your response. Thank you for your attention.

Sincerely,

Karen Davis, PhD
President
Karen@upc-online.org 


Thank you for everything you do for animals!