Investigation launched as pigs hammered to death at "high-welfare" farm
The disturbing footage was recorded in secret as part of an investigation by an animal-rights organisation
A criminal investigation has been launched after secretly recorded footage showed pigs being hammered to death at a meat farm in Scotland.
The disturbing video, recorded as part of an investigation by animal-rights organisation Animal Equality UK, showed piglets deemed too small or weak being killed by farm workers, who used hammers or swung the animals against a concrete floor.
The farm, P&G Sleigh Pig Unit, which is located in Aberdeenshire, is reportedly owned by the man who set up Scotland's pig welfare standards. It received an endorsement from the organisation of which he is chairman and was described as being "high-welfare".
Those pigs not killed at the farm are taken to a slaughterhouse which supplies several UK supermarkets, including Lidl, Tesco, Marks & Spencer. Since the footage emerged, Tesco has indefinitely severed links with the pork supplier, with Lidl also suspending it.
Animal Equality, who have launched a petition to help protect pigs, also said that their investigation showed how piglets born on the farm "routinely had their tails cut off with a hot blade and their teeth clipped with pliers, without any pain relief."
"Undercover footage captured by Animal Equality has revealed disturbing scenes of animal suffering on P&G Sleigh Pig Unit in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, which is owned by senior pig industry figure Philip Sleigh," the group says on their website.
"As a result of our investigation, the farm has been removed from the Quality Meat Scotland assurance scheme and Philip Sleigh is now no longer a Board Member of the initiative."