This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Video shows ‘revolting’ conditions at free range farm

14 March 2016

A free range egg campaigner has been accused of keeping thousands of chickens in “revolting” conditions.

A video shot released by newspapers this weekend purported to show 16,000 hens kept in a shed at the Norfolk’s Hillside Animal Sanctuary.

The farm is owned by UKIP MEP and agriculture spokesman Stuart Agnew, who has campaigned for an EU free of battery farm eggs. 

The eggs from Agnew’s farm are free range and are reported to be supplied to Noble Foods. A spokesman for the company was not immediately available for comment. 

The video, taken by a ‘volunteer’ was published by the Mail on Sunday

The volunteer said the chickens were in in a poor state: “Many were bald. The ones I examined were covered in mites, some with sores. Several had wounds the others pecked. It was a revolting sight.”

Mr Agnew said the video was taken while the flock was being treated by a vet for enteritis. 

“The pictures, which appear to be cleverly choreographed by the activists, were sent to a journalist, who, on 20th January, sent them to the RSPCA,” he said in a statement

“Within a few hours of receipt, the RSPCA arrived unannounced on my farm for an immediate audit and inspection. I was absent, but my staff were present.

“Our records, birds and farm premises were closely inspected. Our records demonstrated that the flock was under veterinary treatment for a feather loss problem that started the previous August with a condition known as enteritis.”

Marc Cooper, the RSPCA’s head of farm animals, said the animals “looked bright”.

He said: “The filming was done at night when the ‘pop holes’ through which the birds gain access to the outside were closed.”

Print this page | E-mail this page


Article image Oil-free compressor breaks with tradition

Gardner Denver went back to the drawing board with the design for its new water cooled, oil-free compressor. The CompAir branded Ultima is said to offer improvements in energy efficiency of up to 12%, compared to a conventional two-stage machine. It also has a 37% smaller footprint. Full Story...

Article image Finding the key to successful BRC audits

David Wolf looks at the common pitfalls encountered by many food businesses when undertaking an audit and offers advice on the steps to take to make sure things run smoothly. Full Story...

New and used food processing machinery

What role does refrigeration play in the supply chain?

Food Processing Awards 2017 – first call for nominations