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

Oak Bay Police Chief Const. Andy Brinton passes the torch this summer

Deputy Chief Ray Bernoties to take over position in September

Victoria Police see new trends in calls due to COVID-19

Police link jump in domestic, mental health calls to pandemic

VIDEO: Musician stays physically distant in courtyard show for Langford retirees

Bob Nelson found a way to continue to play for retirement community residents

COVID-19: Health care workers seek alternative housing options to prevent families from getting sick

Volunteers, residents and businesses step up to provide frontline workers with alternative housing

BC Parks Foundation organizes virtual picnic for the province

Join a B.C.-wide picnic online Saturday, March 28

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating 17-year-old girl believed to be with 36-year-old man

Mary Cyprich, missing since Thurday, might be in company of Force Forsythe

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Most Read