The international animal welfare organisation Animal Equalitylast week released footage of chickens being treated cruelly. It claimed the animals on the West Country farm were destined for Nando's, Faccenda, Lidl and Asda.
The footage showed chicks which Animal Equality claimed to have been dead for several days, lame birds unable to walk and lying on their backs, and chickens with red sores. The organisation also claimed that some of the workers were abusing the animals.
Following on from the release of the footage, Nando's has said it is going to investigate further.
"Animal welfare is very important to us and we source 100% of our chicken from suppliers that meet the UK Red Tractor standards," a spokesperson for the restaurant said. "We were extremely concerned to hear the report that this farm was not meeting our standards and we are conducting a thorough investigation.
"Nando's will continue to insist all of our suppliers meet our strict animal welfare expectations, and is committed to only ever buying from farms that do."
Faccenda said that the footage was being taken seriously, but that it fundamentally did not believe it was representative of the standards on that farm.
"We're obviously disappointed with the images that have been presented to us," commented a spokesperson for the chicken processing company.
"Our experience of this farm suggests the footage is not representative of the overall standard of care. However, where there is a need for improvement in specific areas, we will work with the farmer to make sure that it happens.
"When we were notified of the allegations, we immediately assigned an external vet to visit the farm and conduct an investigation. Following his review of the facilities, and after meeting the team, he approved the farm for continued use. On this basis, we have made the decision to recommence activities on the farm, with additional monitoring and ongoing support from our vet to ensure adherence to standards and practices."
The spokesperson concluded: "We are not going to comment on individual pieces of limited footage, but we will make sure that the information from Animal Equality is used on all of our farms to help ensure that our high standards and expectations are maintained on every farm, every day."
Lidl and Asda were asked for comment, but are yet to respond.