More than 18,000 cows die in Texas dairy farm explosion
More than 18,000 cows have died in an explosion and subsequent fire at a family dairy farm in Texas.
Firefighters rescued one employee from the South Fork Dairy near Dimmitt on Monday as flames raced through a building and into holding pens, according to the Castro County Sheriff’s Office.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, and the farm is based in one of the state’s biggest milk production counties.
The blaze prompted calls from the Animal Welfare Institute – one of the oldest US animal protection groups – for federal laws to prevent barn fires that kill hundreds of thousands of farm animals each year.
“This would be the most deadly fire involving cattle in the past decade, since we started tracking that in 2013,” spokesperson Marjorie Fishman said.
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There are no federal regulations protecting animals from the fires and only a few states, Texas not among them, have adopted fire protection codes for such buildings, according to an AWI statement.
Around 6.5 million farm animals have died in such fires in the last decade, most of them poultry.