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Free-range broilers caught up in covert filming

UNDERCOVER FOOTAGE of an RSPCA Assured broiler farm has been released to national newspapers by the Animal Justice Project, a campaign group.

According to the group, the filming took place on Brome Grange Farm, a poultry unit ran by Free Range Chicken ltd, in Suffolk.

The farm is Red Tractor Assured, part of the RSPCA’s Freedom Foods’ scheme and supplied Tesco.

The footage, taken on cameras hidden on the farm over a three-month period, shows a worker urinating in a bucket later used to collect culled birds.

Animal Justice Project also allege filming found fewer than the legal minimum of three flock inspections a day took place.

Animal Justice Project claimed the workers’ actions breached RSPCA standards and EU laws including Council Directive 2007/43/CE and Council Regulation 1/2005 on the Protection of Animals during Transport and Related Operations.

A broad range of media outlets including the Daily Mail, the Mirror and major regional titles like the Eastern Daily Press picked up the story.

It forms part of a broader campaign by the group entitled “The Foul Truth” from the organisation, which also included protests and a stage invasion of the National Egg and Poultry Awards.

Animal Justice Project is registered as a limited company.  

Tesco, Red Tractor and the RSPCA all promised to investigate and suspended the supply of birds from the farm immediately. Free Range Chicken Ltd director Harry Irwin said he was “shocked and distressed by the footage”.

He told the EDP: “Our number one priority is the highest possible animal welfare standards – this is the first incident of this nature in 16 years of business.


“Once alerted, we launched an urgent investigation to determine all the facts.

“We have already suspended supply from these two farms until we are satisfied that welfare standards are at the high levels we demand, and members of the catching team involved have been dismissed.”