Another Devastating Year for Barn Fires

More than 486,000 farmed animals suffered horrific deaths in barn fires in 2023, pushing the death toll over the past decade to more than 6.8 million. As in previous years, birds accounted for the vast majority of barn fire victims, with around 400,000 perishing in massive fires on large egg-producing factory farms. The deadliest fire involving cattle since 2013—the year AWI began tracking this issue—also occurred last year: In April 2023, a fire and explosion on South Fork Dairy in Dimmitt, Texas, killed 18,000 cows.

A few weeks into 2024, another Texas factory farm made headlines when a fire broke out on Feather Crest Farms, a large egg operation near Kurten. The death toll, although not disclosed, was likely significant—hens were reportedly trapped inside one of two destroyed housing units. The site is owned by MPS Eggs, the sixth-largest egg producer in the country, with 11 million egg-laying hens in total at six sites in Indiana, Texas, and Illinois. 

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