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

CN suspending service between Williams Lake and Squamish, effective April 3

Rail traffic north of Williams Lake will be routed to Vancouver through Prince George and Kamloops

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Cache Creek council makes decision to close pool for 2020 season

Effects of COVID-19 pandemic and delinquent taxes two factors in decision

Q&A: Interior Health CEO answers questions on COVID-19 response

Susan Brown, president and CEO of Interior Health, answers questions regarding COVID-19

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Most Read