Coalition appeals fire protection amendments

by Staff
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TUCKER, Ga. – A coalition of animal agriculture industry groups, including the US Poultry & Egg Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and United Egg Producers, are appealing a recent decision of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to amend its 150 Standard for Fire and Life Safety in Animal Housing Facilities.

The current 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 NFPA 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.

In a move coalition members believe failed to meet applicable due process standards and did not consider the biosecurity or the financial impact of the decision, NFPA’s full Technical Committee adopted a floor motion to amend the NFPA 150 standard. Despite an opposing position taken by the Technical Committee on Animal Housing Facilities, the group charged with evaluating the proposed amendment, the floor motion vote was approved.

As a result, the decision expands the requirement for sprinkler and smoke control systems in animal housing facilities from just those holding Category A animals to include facilities housing Category B animals. This expansion covers far more animal-housing facilities than had been previously covered, expanding NFPA 150 to cover nearly every single livestock farm in the US.

The US Poultry and Egg Association explains NFPA standards typically don’t have the full effect of law but are often adopted in local and state building codes and by insurance companies and may become requirements to receive occupancy permits or purchase insurance.

Organizations participating in the appeal include the US Poultry and Egg Association, National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation, United Egg Producers, National Pork Producers Council, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Milk Producers Federation, Dairy Farmers of America, Dairylea Cooperative, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Select Milk Producers, Agri-Mark Inc., St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperatives and the Idaho Dairymen's Association.

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