The role of the ‘firefighter cows’ is very important to act as a natural and efficient firewall, which helps fight forest fires and thus reduces the risk for the firefighting brigades, who often risk their lives against the fire every summer.
The director of PROVACUNO, Javier López, explains very well to El Confidencial that “cattle allow great economic savings at the same time because hiring labor and machinery to carry out these same functions, which are carried out by grazing cows, mechanically would be unthinkable as well as for its environmental benefits given the impossibility of acting on thousands of hectares of land sensitive to forest fires”.
In 2021, a total of 19 “major fires” were registered, a category that includes those that exceed 500 affected forest hectares. Fifteen of them took place during the summer campaign and another four during the winter campaign, with a damaged forest area of 31,375 hectares.
In 2021, a total of 19 “major fires” were registered, a category that includes those that exceed 500 affected forest hectares. Fifteen of them took place during the summer campaign and another four during the winter campaign, with a damaged forest area of 31,375 hectares. For this reason, Javier López considers that “it is much better and enormously cheaper to ‘prevent than cure’. Why don’t we bet more on maintaining livestock activity to fight fire?”
The beef sector claims the role of “fire-cows” to eliminate biomass that can easily burn and livestock, because it acts as an efficient “firewall” to fight forest fires while reducing the risk to the firefighting brigades that risk their lives in front of the fire every summer.
As stated in the magazine Origen “in Spain, Beef is one of the key sectors for rural areas, with an efficient and sustainable production system. With 130,153 farms, 5.8 million heads, 238 slaughterhouses and 677,000 tons produced per year for a value of more than 3,000 million euros. More than 132,000 direct jobs are linked to primary production, located in disadvantaged areas with a negative population balance and without other viable economic alternatives. To these data we should add the jobs indirect and those linked to transformation.