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March 11, 2016

Spate of Fatal Barn Fires Highlights Need for New Rules

Lack of basic protections for animals resulting in huge loss of life

Humane Society International/Canada

  • Canadian authorities must take immediate action to protect animals from preventable deaths. istock

MONTREAL — After a string of distressingly gruesome barn fires in the first months of 2016, including a fire in a duck barn that killed 50,000 animals on New Year’s Day, and numerous others since, Humane Society International/Canada campaign manager Sayara Thurston stated the following:

“The enormous animal suffering and loss of life in largely preventable barn fires in the early months of 2016 is shameful. The terror that animals endure while trapped in burning buildings is unimaginable. Urgent updates are needed to national and provincial building and fire codes to require that all barns that house animals be deemed safe for their occupancy. Right now, most of these buildings are not even fitted with basic measures like smoke detectors and sprinkler systems, despite confining hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of animals. This lack of planning and care is putting both the lives of animals, and those of first responders, at risk.

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“Hundreds of thousands of animals are killed every year in barn fires. The horrendous deaths of these animals are often treated as little more than a financial loss. The fact that this happens on an almost weekly basis is reprehensible, and authorities need to take immediate action to protect animals in our care from preventable deaths.” 

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Media Contact: Christopher Pare, 514 395-2914, cell: 438 402-0643, cpare@hsi.org

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