The U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers have joined a coalition of animal agriculture industry groups in appealing the June 14 decision of the National Fire Protection Association to amend its 150 Standard for Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities.
The existing standard requires automatic fire sprinkler and smoke control systems for housing facilities containing Category A animals — those animals that pose a potential risk to the health or safety of rescuers or the general public, such as dangerous zoo animals. The amendment would require the installation of sprinkler and smoke control systems in animal housing facilities for Category B animals — defined as all animals not included in Category A — which would expand the standard to include poultry barns.
Coalition members say they believe the amendment fails to meet applicable due process standards and does not consider the biosecurity or the financial impact of the decision. The expansion, they say, covers far more animal housing facilities than had been previously covered, expanding the 150 Standard to cover nearly every single livestock farm in the U.S.
A coalition of animal protection organizations has come out in support of amending the standard. "Farmers have an ethical duty to protect the animals whose lives they have exclusive control and responsibility over," said United Poultry Concerns President Karen Davis. "Installing sprinklers and smoke-control systems is a minimal, yet fundamental, part of that duty. We respectfully urge the National Fire Protection Association to enforce this fundamental obligation by adopting the proposed Amendment requiring sprinklers and smoke-control systems in farm-animal housing facilities."
While National Fire Protection Association standards typically do not have the full effect of law, they are often adopted in local and state building codes and by insurance companies and may become requirements to receive occupancy permits or purchase insurance.