7 Feb 2023

MPI to visit farm where 50,000 chickens died in barn fire

5:33 pm on 7 February 2023
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Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

An animal welfare inspector will be visiting the Waikato farm where 50,000 chickens died in a fire on Monday, the Ministry for Primary Industries says.

Two of the 12 barns at the Zeagold farm in Orini were destroyed by the blaze and vets were monitoring the health of the birds in the other barns.

The cause of the fire was yet to be established and Zeagold chief executive John McKay told Morning Report a FENZ inspector was back on site today.

"At this stage we still don't know what has caused the fire, but obviously we'll be working closely with the experts and the authorities to track that down and ensure that doesn't happen again," McKay said.

MPI national animal welfare manager Gray Harrison said the ministry was investigating from an animal welfare perspective and would visit the site.

"We've been in contact with Fire and Emergency and police who are investigating the cause of the fire," Harrison said.

Any death of animals that may cause suffering was concerning to MPI, he said.

"We note that disposal of the birds is managed by the local government rules which ensure public health and safety."