Breaking: 18,000 Animals Killed in Explosion and Fire on Texas Dairy Farm

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3 min read

Shocking reports state that some 18,000 cows died following an explosion and a resulting fire that ripped through South Fork Dairy in Dimmitt, Texas.

Barn fires commonly kill massive numbers of animals. Farm buildings can have many fire hazards—such as dry materials and shoddy wiring—and they often lack safety measures, including fire escapes for the animals, sprinkler systems, and fire detectors.

Cows imprisoned on farms and raised for their milk are excluded from protection under the federal Animal Welfare Act, which means that there’s no federal law that prevents workers from removing their horns (or the tissue that would turn into horns) using guillotine dehorners, sharp wires, hot irons, or caustic chemicals—all without pain relief—let alone one to protect them from a fiery death in a barn explosion.

This Isn’t the First Deadly Barn Fire, and It Won’t Be the Last

A 2018 study found that from 2013 to 2017, 2.7 million animals imprisoned on farms in the U.S. died in preventable barn fires. The study concluded that 95% of them were chickens. According to the report, the single deadliest fire during this time frame occurred in 2017 in Indiana, when 1 million chickens died at Hi-Grade Egg Producers.

According to current estimates by the Animal Welfare Institute, nearly 6.5 million animals have died in barn fires since 2013.

These tragedies occur when living, feeling beings are treated as if they’re crops or nothing more than inanimate objects.

People would flood the streets in protest if millions of humans endured preventable deaths like this. Don’t fool yourself—these animals felt their skin boil and their lungs burn just like humans would. They most likely cried out for help that never came, and until their final seconds, they did everything they could to escape a painful death.

On farms today, sensitive animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and stuffed into wire cages, metal crates, and other torturous devices. They’re never allowed to raise their families, root around in the soil, build nests, or do anything else that’s natural and important to them. Most won’t even feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they’re loaded onto trucks headed for slaughterhouses.

Help Cows Exploited for Milk and Cheese

Cows produce milk for the same reason humans do: to nourish their babies. But in the dairy industry, they’re repeatedly and forcibly impregnated to keep the milk supply flowing. Calves are torn away from their mother just hours after birth, and the milk intended for them is instead shipped off for humans to drink. Even though a cow’s natural life expectancy is about 20 years, they’re typically killed after just five years on dairy farms, after their bodies have worn out.

photo of cow on factory farm

Every year, 30 million cows are shipped to slaughterhouses and violently killed in the U.S. alone. You can help end this cruelty today, and we can help you get started.

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