As many as 18,000 cows were killed after a massive explosion and fire erupted at a dairy farm in West Texas, becoming the largest known single-incident death of cattle. The fire began after a blast at the South Fork Dairy farm in Dimmitt in Texas on Monday.
According to Media reports, huge clouds of black smoke filled the sky above the dairy farm for hours. However, there were no human casualties, but one dairy farm worker was rescued and taken to the hospital. As of Tuesday, the worker was in critical condition but is now stable.
Castro County Sheriff’s Office said they had received a report of a fire at the farm on Monday. Office of the Sheriff also posted photos which show a huge plume of black smoke rising from the ground.
In a statement the Washington DC-based Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) said that – if confirmed – a death toll of 18,000 cows would be “by far” the deadliest barn fire involving cattle since it began keeping statistics in 2013.
According to the AWI, nearly 6.5m farm animals have been killed in barn fires since 2013, of which about 6m were chickens and about 7,300 were cows. Between 2018 and 2021, nearly 3 million farm animals died in fire, with 1.76m chickens dying in the six largest fires over that time period.