Around 18,000 cows perished in what is now the deadliest barn fire in US history after an explosion at a farm in Texas.
At a family-run dairy farm in Texas, an explosion was followed by a fire that claimed the lives of over 18,000 cows, according to the news agency Reuters. While firemen evacuated one employee from the property, officials stated that the source of the incident remained unknown.
According to the Castro County Sheriff's Office, the event occurred at South Fork Dairy in the vicinity of Dimmitt. According to Reuters, the farm is located in one of the counties with the highest milk production in the state.
One of the oldest animal protection organisations in the US, the Animal Welfare Institute, appealed for government legislation and assistance after the incident to help prevent future barn fires.
"This would be the most deadly fire involving cattle in the past decade since we started tracking that in 2013," spokesperson Marjorie Fishman said.
There are currently no federal laws protecting animals from flames, while several US states have passed their own protection laws. Texas is not among them.
According to Reuters, almost 6.5 million agricultural animals have perished in these fires over the past ten years.