Thousands of chickens die in suspicious fire

Arson is suspected as the probable cause of a fire in a remote poultry farm in Essex in which up to 13,000 chickens died.  

Firefighters from Essex County Fire and Rescue Service were called out to the blaze which ripped through Starlings Farm in  Felsted, near Braintree just after midnight on Thursday night. 

A poultry barn, containing the birds and egg production equipment, was completely destroyed in the fire, and the police are now holding a joint investigation with the fire service. 

"Naturally, the owners are devastated at the loss of a significant part of their business, and at the cruel manner in which their animals died,” said DI Alan Stevens of Braintree CID.

"We are working with the fire service to investigate the cause of the blaze and are appealing for witnesses who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at around the time of the fire to contact us.”

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