On Monday, April 10th, 2023, an explosion occurred at the South Fork Dairy Farm in Dimmit, Texas, and a fire that killed 18,000 cows. Authorities believe that the fire was caused by a potential equipment malfunction in the facility’s manure management system. The animals were trapped inside the burning factory and only a few survived.
South Fork Dairy Farm, one of the largest dairy farms in the country, is located in Dimmitt, Texas, 75 miles northwest of Lubbock. To date, the fire that took place on April 10th is the largest mass death of cows in a single fire across the United States in at least two decades.
The magnitude of the Dimmitt fire was record-breaking due to the vast number of animals housed in the building, which was equivalent to the capacity of 26 football fields. Fires are all too common on factory farms, where large numbers of animals are confined in close proximity.
Sid Miller, the Texas agricultural commissioner, said:
This was the deadliest barn fire for cattle in Texas history… The investigation and cleanup may take some time.
As stated by local law enforcement, the fire may have been initiated by a potential equipment malfunction. In an interview with the local news station Fox34, Castro County Sheriff Sal Rivera said:
It was probably what they call a ‘honey badger,’ like a vacuum that sucks manure and water out. It is possible that it overheated and the methane and things like that might have ignited and spread out with an explosion and a fire.
The cows who survived the blast are being relocated to another facility located to the north of South Fork Dairy Farm.
How You Can Help Animals
Show your support for this important cause and make your voice heard! Together, we can work towards a more humane and sustainable future for all animals. Join our End Factory Farming campaign by signing our petition today.
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A cow’s maternal instincts foster a gentle bond with her vulnerable calf. Preserve this tender relationship by choosing plant-based alternatives to dairy products.