FILE - A barn fire on the afternoon of Feb. 13 killed three sheep in Langley. (Brad Buckle photo)

‘Burned alive’: BC SPCA petition demands fire code changes to protect farm animals

More than 3,800 people have signed petition to make livestock protection a Canada Codes objective

Over 3,800 people have signed a BC SPCA petition launched on March 4 to convince a national committee to make protecting farm animals an objective of soon-to-be-updated national building and fire codes.

The Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC), an independent committee established by the National Research Council of Canada, is currently in the process of updating the national codes, including a public review period that ends March 13.

Since the BC SPCA estimates that more than half a million animals have died in barn fires in Canada since 2015 — an average of 100,000 animals every year — farm animal welfare manager Melissa Speirs said they asked the CCBFC to make the protection of animals an objective in the updated codes.

“They indicated they weren’t interested in including that at this time,” Speirs said.

ALSO READ: Three sheep killed in Langley barn fire

To demonstrate public interest, the BC SPCA launched the online petition and plans to submit the names of signatories to the CCBFC along with an official comment proposing new safety requirements, including fire suppression equipment and electrical systems “ideal for barns.”

“Electrical systems are the number one cause of barn fires, causing about 40 per cent of fires,” Speirs said. “Barns with farm animals are at higher risk of electrical fires because of a few factors, including high humidity, ammonia and rodents.”

Specifically, she said the BC SPCA is recommending that fixtures rated as “NEMA 4X” — a rating used for hazardous locations — be required in barns because they are “designed to withstand the unique barn environment.”

ALSO READ: Large barn fire in Abbotsford

After the end of the public review period, she said the committee will either approve their proposed changes as they are or with revisions, or withdraw them.

Black Press Media has reached out to the CCBFC for comment.

ALSO READ: Massive fire destroys Agassiz dairy barn



karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BCSPCA

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Smithers single family home sales up in first quarter of 2020

Real Estate board predicts decline in second quarter due to COVID-19

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Bus services taking extra measures because of COVID-19

More cleaning and more disinfecting underway

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C. First Nations Health Authority launches virtual doctor program

Program to provide primary health care through COVID-19 pandemic

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

Statistics Canada report looks at COVID-19’s impact on violence in the family

Police across Canada reported almost 100,000 cases of intimate partner violence in 2018

132,000 B.C. jobs lost just the start of COVID-19 impact, finance minister says

Finance Minister Carole James says ‘this isn’t the entire picture’

B.C. asking companies to contribute through online COVID-19 supply hub

New platform to co-ordinate, source, expedite supplies and equipment to support front-line workers

Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says

With poor containment measures, the death toll could be much, much higher, the agency says

Most Read