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

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Here are some changes to the Fraser Lake Community Paramedicine program amidst COVID-19

Jessica Wurst, community paramedic in Fraser Lake answers some questions about her role in the community as well

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

Vanderhoof has access to a water aerodrome again

Municipal council decomissioned the aerodrome last year citing liability concerns

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

‘Community is amazing’: Williams Lake woman organizes drive-by birthdays

With self-isolation the norm due to COVID-19 children are missing out

A curfew is being implemented by Nak’azdli Whut’en First Nation

The First Nations community will also be putting up check-points due to COVID-19 concerns

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Most Read