Barn fires: how to address a deadly threat to pigs

It is estimated that between 2013 and 2019, over 86,546 pigs died in barn fires in the US. We speak to the Animal Welfare Institute about what’s needed to protect pigs in the future.
calendar icon 22 January 2020
clock icon 7 minute read
piglets huddled under a heat lamp
In cases where the cause of the barn fire was known, the majority were electrical faults: heaters, automatic ventilation systems and machinery
Barn fires resulting in the deaths of more than 500 pigs (2017 – 2019)
Barn fires resulting in the deaths of more than 500 pigs (2017 – 2019)

Total (2017-2019): 45,710 pigs*. *The information on barn fires used in the report was obtained through media reports, therefore loss of life is, on occasion, underestimated as the number of deaths are not always reported. All data provided by Animal Welfare Institute 2020. © Animal Welfare Institute

firefighters trying to control a barn fire
In some rural areas with limited water supply, AWI is advocating the option of on-site water storage

Inadequate water costs lives as barns burn faster. This water storage could supply both sprinkler systems and the attending fire authorities.

Emily Houghton

Editor, The Pig Site

Emily Houghton is a Zoology graduate from Cardiff University and was the editor of The Pig Site from October 2017 to May 2020. Emily has worked in livestock husbandry, and has written, conducted and assisted with research projects regarding the synthesis of welfare and productivity of free-range food species.

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