Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


1,500 hogs die in barn fire at Manitoba pork producer HyLife

March 25, 2015 CBC News

Hundreds of hogs were killed in a barn fire in the community of Kola, Man. near the Saskatchewan border.

Thirty firefighters in total from Virden, Elkhorn, and Maryfield, Sask., fought the blaze that broke out around 10 p.m. Tuesday at a hog barn owned by pork producer HyLife. Virden fire Chief Brad Yochim said when crews arrived at the scene, the barn was engulfed in flames.

HyLife executive vice-president Claude Vielfaure says 1,500 hogs perished in the blaze and the barn was destroyed. He told CBC News he's "very sad" about the loss, and that he doesn't know what could have caused the fire.

Vielfaure said the company works very hard to make sure all of its barns are safe, but he added that the barn was more than 20 years old and did not have a sprinkler system installed because it was grandfathered under building codes at the time. 

According to its website, HyLife produces 1.4 million hogs annually in Canada and the United States.  The Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner is investigating the cause of the blaze.

Protect Animals From Barn Fires

March 25, 2015 CETFA for change.org

To: General Manager, NFACC Jackie Wepruk; Chair, NFACC Ryder Lee

I was horrified to learn of the regular and routine occurrence of highly preventable barn fires in Canada. Animals in such fires experience terror and suffer unimaginable pain as they attempt to escape while fire rages around them. Often these animals are additionally restricted inside cages or stalls, meaning they have no chance of escape.

Just in the past year, almost 60,000 animals have burned alive in barn fires in Canada.

The time for action is now. You have the authority to protect farmed animals from barn fires and prevent this needless suffering. I urge you to develop national barn fire codes to prevent and reduce the occurrence of barn fires, as well as help minimize the suffering of animals.

As a civilized society it's our moral obligation to prevent cruelty to all animals, including farmed animals. Thank you. Carmina Gooch

March 31, 2015 Pigs, sheep die in barn fire near Keswick 

Ontario: More lives lost in yet another barn fire. Two pigs and a number of sheep perished as fire tore through the building on Ravencrest Road near Keswick. Source: CTV News

April 8, 2014 Carmina Gooch's letter to the Commission

Update: I have not received the courtesy of a response.

February 28, 2017 Since January, 2016, media reports account for at least 30,000 pigs, cows, horses, sheep, goats, ducks and chickens killed in barn fires across the country, mostly in Ontario. Philip Rizcallah of the National Research Council says the committee in charge of the National Farm Building Code (a non-mandatory model code provinces can adopt and adapt based on needs) is currently working on updates that will enhance fire safety by 2020. The primary objective of those updates, however, will be the protection of human occupants, he says, adding, “As a secondary benefit, asset protection may be realized.” By assets, he means live animals.

As long as our society continues to regard farmed animals as nothing more than property, then industry classifications like “low human occupancy” will persist to allow farmers to dismiss animals as unworthy of protection from horrific harms like fire. Regulations and laws respond to evolving values and concerns within society. Speak up and take action to give them a voice!

January 24, 2018 E-1452 (Building Code) Barn fires. Please sign this new petition to the Canadian government.

Barn Fire Safety Checklist

Read more on barn fires and the lives they have claimed: Factory Farming