Livestock farms will be obliged to take more measures in the coming years to prevent stable fires and animal mortality. That is what demissionary Minister of Agriculture Schouten has announced. The number of stable fires has not declined in recent years and the number of animals dying in fires has increased. It concerns hundreds of thousands of pigs, cows, chickens and other animals a year.
The Safety Board concluded in March that the government is doing too little against this and presented recommendations.
Larger livestock farms are subject to higher fire safety requirements, such as the maximum number of animals allowed to stand in a closed barn. The more animals in a space, the more they die when a fire breaks out. Standards are also set for new stables to be built.
The cause of many stable fires never becomes clear, but electricity or poorly constructed solar installations are seen as the major culprit. For all livestock farms, there is therefore a duty to have the plants inspected “visual” annually. Large livestock farms must have extensive electrical inspection every three years. The rest of the companies have to do that every five years.
The government also talks with companies that build solar power installations in stables to see if unsound installation work can be prevented.
For the stables of large livestock farms, there is an obligation to place fire resistant material that lasts for at least 60 minutes between the electrical installation and the space where the animals are located. These companies also need to establish a fire detection system.
By 2024, every major livestock farm has to work someone who has done a fire safety management course.
The use of air washers is discouraged by abolishing the tax advantage for that purpose. The government has been encouraging procurement in recent years, because air washers reduce ammonia and particulate matter emissions, but the electrical installations of the air scrubbers regularly lead to short-circuit and fire.