Coventry & Warwickshire

Tesco drops pork farm over 'distressing' undercover film

Hogwood Farm Image copyright Viva
Image caption Viva said it installed hidden cameras for one week at the farm in July

Tesco has dropped supplies from a pork farm after undercover footage showed "systematic" abuse, an animal rights charity said.

Pigs were filmed being hit by workers at Hogwood Farm in Warwickshire and in one case a pig was attacked and bitten by others, Viva claimed.

Red Tractor, the National Farmers' Union's assurance scheme, has suspended the farm's certificate.

The owner said the covert filming was not a true picture of his farm.

Tesco said there were "distressing" scenes that fell "well below" the high animal welfare standards it requires.

Viva, which promotes veganism, said it had carried out filming on the farm last month as well as in 2017 and 2018.

Footage from this year's investigation, it said, showed "terrified pigs struck with metal riding crops and hand tools" and "dead pigs dumped into rotting piles".

Viva said the supermarket made the decision after viewing footage from 2019.

"These are distressing and unacceptable scenes which fall well below the high animal welfare standards we require from all of our suppliers," Tesco said.

Image copyright Viva
Image caption The owner said the undercover filming was not a true picture of his farm

Farm owner Brian Hobill said Viva's film had been cut to make it "look as though we're bad farmers".

"I can go through the video and explain quite clearly what our stockmen were doing at the time when these supposed allegations were and in every case we were actually saving animals and looking after animals," he said.

Juliet Gellatley, director of Viva, said it had provided all the evidence needed to expose systematic animal cruelty.

Image copyright Viva

Red Tractor said Hogwood Farm's certificate had been suspended pending further investigation into "appalling behaviours".

Mr Hobill said recent inspections had found no overcrowding or anything untoward.

"I believe we have an excellent farm and I hope the people at Red Tractor will see that."

Follow BBC West Midlands on Facebook, on Twitter, and sign up for local news updates direct to your phone.

Related Topics

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites