Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Fire rips through Bentley Hutterite pig barn
Monday, July 7, 2014 By Vince Burke, Lacombe Globe
Bentley, Alta: About 4,000 pigs are being taken to new pens and an unknown number are lost as fire ripped through a hog barn on the Bentley Hutterite Colony. The call came in to Bentley Fire Department at 6:45 a.m. July 7, and Bentley called for assistance from Blackfalds, Lacombe, Eckville and Sylvan Lake departments.
“(I'm) not sure how many pigs were lost, quite a few. Right now there are approximately 4,000 that are outside and they have, through the Pork Producers Association, obtained alternate locations where they can move these pigs. Not sure if they have to be put down or if they can be used later, that is up to them,” said Fred Millar Regional Fire Service Coordinator, adding 45 firefighters battled the blaze that is under investigation.
Millar estimates the barn to be 500 to 600 feet long and 50 to 60 feet wide. He said the whole building is in an H shape with pigs at different stages separated in each wing and a connecting corridor in the middle.
“Unfortunately the side that was on fire I don't think (anything) got out. That was the farrowing pigs – the mothers and babies and the other side was weaners and things like that. Basically the ones that are outside were the adjacent barn,” he said.
“The north wing completely burned. The fire went through the connector a little bit, but we managed to knock the connector right down to stop the fire spread to the other wing. While that was going on, they were taking the pigs out of that wing and putting them outside. They had a bunch of portable pen fencing to set up at the time.” The fire was brought under control at 11:30 a.m.
July 8, 2014 Update: About 4,200 pigs died Monday in central Alta. when the barn they were in caught fire and burned to the ground. The barn that burned had been housing mainly mother and baby pigs. Source: CBC News
Comment: The unbearable fear and terror these pigs must have felt being trapped and helpless in cruel quarters is unfathomable. And then the audacity and cold-heartedness of the fire services coordinator to refer to them as objects - “anything”, “not sure if they can be used later,” – commodities for human utility. They were living, feeling beings!! No sorrow at all - a complete disconnect. Sadly, exploiting animals is so ingrained in our culture that most of us are untouched as to these tragedies. The repercussions are great.
Let me say it openly: we are surrounded by an enterprise of degradation, cruelty, and killing which rivals anything the Third Reich was capable of, indeed dwarfs it, in that ours is an enterprise without end, self-regenerating, bringing rabbits, rats, poultry, livestock ceaselessly into the world for the purpose of killing them. J. M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals
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