Starving pigs 'forced to eat each other in shocking catalogue of neglect at "high standards" farm'

STARVING pigs were allegedly forced to eat each other in a shocking catalogue of neglect at a 'high standards' Leicestershire farm.

Video footage filmed by animal rights campaigners appears to show pigs writhing in agony with their eyes rolling and farm workers brutally killing piglets.

Animals which collapsed were gnawed on by other pigs driven to cannibalism by the neglect, it is claimed.

Undercover investigators from animal welfare group Viva! planted cameras at Flat House Farm in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, which is home to around 8,000 pigs, between March and July this year.

The farm produces meat carrying the Red Tractor logo – meaning it is ‘traceable, safe to eat and has been produced responsibly’.

The RSPCA has launched an investigation – but farm bosses say the video has been falsified.

The footage shows feral cats gnawing on the corpses and starving pigs with bones visible through their skin.

In one part of the footage, a farm worker is apparently seen ‘knocking’ young piglets – killing them by slamming their tiny heads onto the bars of their mother’s metal cage.

The worker filmed can be heard saying: “I f*****g hate doing this."

Now the Red Tractor organisation, the biggest food quality assurance scheme, said certification for the farm's products has been withdrawn.

A spokesperson said: "We are appalled by the images.

"Red Tractor requires all members to meet every standard, every day, and take any breaches of these standards seriously.

"Last month we immediately launched an investigation and the farm's membership of the scheme has since been terminated."

Henry Smith, the Conservative MP for Crawley and co-chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for animal welfare, told MailOnline the footage "contains some of the most disturbing images I have ever seen".

"If this is the Red Tractor standard, then consumers are being misled," he said.

"We cannot allow farms like this to operate."

Campaigners at Viva! say they witnessed "appalling conditions" and the "systematic abuse of farmed pigs whose short lives are filled with nothing but misery and pain".

Juliet Gellatley of the organisation said: "Not only do factory farms raise serious welfare concerns, they also create an ideal environment for mutating viruses and antibiotic-resistant superbugs."

However, workers at Flat House Farm, which is owned by Elvidge Farms Ltd, say the RSPCA has already visited for a spot check and found there was "no case to answer".

A source said the video has been falsified by campaigners.

But a Viva! spokesperson said: "This response is simply an attempt to detract from the horrific conditions exposed.

"The sheer volume of neglect is clearly evident in our extensive video footage and enough to substantiate our claims. 

"The owners of Flat House Farm need to be held accountable for the suffering they have caused to the animals in their care."

Sun Online has contacted Flat House Farm for comment.

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