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Home Breaking News Government does too little to prevent barn fires | NOW
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Government does too little to prevent barn fires | NOW

The government is doing too little to prevent stable fires. That is the conclusion of the Dutch Safety Board (OVV). The council writes that it is considered an “acceptable risk” by the government that 130,000 chickens or 7,000 pigs will die in a barn fire.

According to the council, the Ministries of the Interior and Agriculture see “no reason to impose additional rules to improve stable fire safety”.

The Ministry of Agriculture believes that voluntary measures have already had an effect and “does not consider additional regulations proportional to the size of the problem”, the OVV writes.

An important role in this decision is that many farmers do not have the money to take extra measures and that they are “confronted with many more issues”.

The council writes that “plays a role in the background” that farmers are looking critically at government policy in the field of rules for the agricultural sector. In recent years, farmers have campaigned several times against the nitrogen rules. “This fragile support is a barrier for central government to impose additional rules on stable fire safety”, according to the Dutch Safety Board.

The Interior gives barn fires low priority

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Due to its responsibility for building regulations, the Ministry of the Interior is also involved in plans to reduce the number of barn fires. “Within the ministry, the theme of barn fires is given a low priority”, the OVV writes.

According to the Interior, the number of animals that die in barn fires is small in relation to the number of animals that die from diseases, for example. In addition, building regulations are primarily intended to prevent human casualties and through amendments to the Building Decree (2014), the rules also provide protection for livestock.

“The ministry is convinced that these adjustments have improved the fire safety of new stables, even if this cannot be substantiated with figures”, the report of the Dutch Safety Board states.

The average number of animals that die annually from barn fires is increasing, despite the number of fires remaining fairly unchanged. In the period from 2012 to November 2020, 1.3 million animals were killed in a barn fire. That is an annual average of 143,000. Livestock burns alive or suffocates from the smoke.

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