NFPA Urged to Protect Facilities from Preventable Fires01 August 2012
US - Thirteen animal protection organizations filed an Appeal with the National Fire Protection Association on 27 July 2012 requesting that the NFPA approve and adopt Amendment 150, Standard on Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities requiring sprinklers to be installed in farm animal housing facilities in which thousands of pigs, chickens, turkeys and other farm animals are trapped when fires break out – a frequent occurrence.
On 7 August, United Poultry Concerns President Karen Davis will speak on behalf of the Appeal at the NFPA Standards Council Meeting in Quincy, Massachusetts between 12 Noon and 1:00 PM.
In June, the NFPA commendably passed an Amendment of its 150 Standard requiring installation of fire protection systems, but an agribusiness coalition appealed the decision claiming producers cannot afford to protect the animals whose lives they control by installing automated sprinklers.
With nearly one billion farm animals confined in US facilities on any given day, the risk of fire-related tragedy is huge. Between March and July 2012 alone, 528,000 animals met this excruciating end – and these are just the publicly-reported cases.
In addition to causing unutterable pain, terror, and suffering to animals trapped in searing heat and choking smoke in the hyper-confinement buildings they cannot escape from, a fire at a facility unequipped with fire protection systems typically causes losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Contrary to industry complaints that installing fire protection systems is too expensive, these systems will more likely save money in the long run, according to cost benefit assessments cited in the Appeal. However, the primary issue in this matter is the basic moral obligation of producers toward the animals at their mercy.
"Farmers have an ethical duty to protect the animals whose lives they have exclusive control and responsibility over," states United Poultry Concerns President Karen Davis. "Installing sprinklers and smoke-control systems is a minimal, yet fundamental, part of that duty. We respectfully urge the National Fire Protection Association to enforce this fundamental obligation by adopting the proposed Amendment requiring sprinklers and smoke-control systems in farm-animal housing facilities."
Undersigned organizations to this Appeal are: United Poultry Concerns, Animal Place, Animal Protection & Rescue League, Chicken Run Rescue, Chocowinity Chicken Sanctuary, Compassion Over Killing, Farm Sanctuary, Free From Harm, Mercy For Animals, Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Sunnyskies Bird & Animal Sanctuary, and Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.