Once again thousands of trapped animals have died from a factory farm fire.
250,000 hens at Ohio Fresh Eggs in Harpster died when firefighters "cut power to the chicken barns and ventilation systems to keep the flames from spreading," say news reports.
Did they burn, suffocate from smoke inhalation or asphyxiate from barn fumes? Ohio Fresh Eggs says only they were "euthanized." Their bodies will be sent to pet and animal feed processor G.A. Wintzer & Son Co. in Wapakoneta, says Bill Schwaderer of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
Factory farms, in addition to their toxicity to workers, animals, the environment and food consumers, are fire bombs waiting to happen thanks to legions of animals packed over their own feces. Barns are so ammonified, Maine state officials required medical care after entering barns at a similar egg farm, Quality Egg in Turner, last year.
Only eight employees tended Ohio Fresh Eggs uninhabitable 16 barns when the fire was reported says the Coshocton Tribune. That's one employee per 250,000 hens. (see: Agriculture Brings Jobs!)
Despite state operating permits which require a written emergency-response plan for such events, 225 firefighters had to battle the blaze for hours.
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