Wyke Farms rethinks deal with pig farm after video emerges

By Matt Atherton

- Last updated on GMT

A lobby group claimed pigs were living in squalid conditions at a farm
A lobby group claimed pigs were living in squalid conditions at a farm

Related tags London stock exchange Anaerobic digestion

Wyke Farms is reviewing its partnership with JMW Farms Ltd’s Lambrook Pig Farm, after video footage obtained by animal welfare and vegan lobbyist Viva! claimed to show the farm’s pigs were living among dead pigs.

Somerset-based Lambrook Pig Farm supplied a small amount of slurry to Wyke Farms’s Green Energy Plant – less than 1% of the total supplied to the plant. The waste was then anaerobically digested, to produce methane-rich ‘green’ biogas. This green energy was burned to produce electricity, and some added to the national grid.

But the dairy firm was not responsible for the condition of pigs at Lambrook Pig Farm, it stressed.

Wyke Farms said it was “extremely concerned”​ by the footage, and is now considering the long-term future of its relationship with JMW Farms. Wyke Farms said it was committed to high animal welfare standards .

Committed to high standards

“We will be reviewing future supply of waste from the Lambrook Pig unit with its owners, JMW Farms, and will be asking whether the video made by Viva! is reflective of the standards that they uphold,”​ a Wyke Farms spokeswoman told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

“After this we will make a firm decision on the long-term viability of waste from this farm.”

The pigs’ only mental stimulation was chains hanging from the ceiling, Viva! claimed. But, the animal welfare group conceded that it was entirely legal, as farms must legally provide hanging chains as a bare minimum for pigs’ environmental enrichment. 

‘Condemned to a short life’

Viva! campaigns manager Justin Kerswell told the Daily Mail​: “The pigs at Lambrook Farm are condemned to a short life living among their own waste, and sometimes with the dead.

“The very bare minimum has been done to remain inside the law, but the conditions are appalling.”

Northern Ireland-based JMW Farms was founded in 1989. It was included in the London Stock Exchange’s 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain​ report last year.

JMW Farms has not commented on the allegations.

Related topics Legal Meat, poultry & seafood

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