Numerous dairy cows were crammed together in the holding pens, waiting to be milked, and were therefore stuck in dangerous conditions as the fire quickly spread across them.
Authorities were shocked by the quantity of dead cows left behind after putting out the fire at the west Texas dairy farm Monday evening: Nearly three times as many cattle are brought to slaughter each day in the United States as were lost in the fire at the South Fork Dairy farm near Dimmitt, Texas, which killed 18,000 head of cattle.
As of Tuesday, the dairy farm employee who was extricated from the building and transferred to a local hospital remained in a critical but stable condition. There were no more fatalities among people.
The number of cattle fatalities, according to Dimmitt Mayor Roger Malone, is “mind-boggling.” “I don’t believe it has ever occurred in this area. It’s truly tragic.
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Since tracking barn and farm fires began in 2013 by the Washington-based Animal Welfare Institute, it was the largest single-incident death of cattle in the nation.
According to Allie Granger, a policy associate at the organization, that easily beat the previous high, a 2020 fire at an upstate New York dairy farm that killed about 400 cows.
She described the Texas tragedy as “the deadliest fire involving cattle we know of.” In the past, there have been fires that killed hundreds of cows at once, but nothing comparable to this.
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