Around 2100 pigs died in a barn in Maarheeze due to a power failure on Tuesday night.
The alarm sounded but when the farm’s owner, Peter van der Linden, went to check on his animals, he found many of them already dead. There was nothing he could do to prevent the death of the remaining pigs. ‘I am devastated,’ he says.
It is not yet clear what caused the power failure. What is known is that it caused oxygen levels inside the barn to plummet.
‘In the past, there were ventilation ducts in the roof, but those are gone. Those could have provided some fresh air for the pigs. Now we have air washers, but if the power fails, then everything cuts out,’ van der Linden continued.
Two days after the disaster, van der Linden can still barely process it. ‘You are totally perplexed.’ Thankfully, he can hardly complain about the support he received. Family, friends and acquaintances helped him to empty the barn. ‘They helped me enormously, and I am very grateful for that. It is unbelievable what has happened. I haven’t slept at all this week.’
Van der Linden erected black fences around his farm to shield it from sight.
The NVWA (Nederlandse Voedsel- en Waren Autoriteit, or the Dutch Food and Goods Authority) launched an inquest to investigate how the tragedy happened. The farmer’s insurer was also alerted.
An inspector visited the farm yesterday (Thursday), and a further appointment is scheduled for next week.
It is not the first time that a barn of hundreds or even thousands of pigs have died. Most of the time, it is due to a fire. Multiple parties across the country have been working together for years to prevent barn fires and other calamities.
Source: Omroep Brabant
Translator: Rachael Vickerman