Hoads Farm refutes animal welfare allegations

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Hoads Farm refuted animal welfare allegations

Related tags: Supply chain

Egg supplier Hoads Farm has refuted animal welfare allegations levelled against it by protestors, saying it operates “above and beyond” the high standards laid down by the British egg industry.

Earlier this week national media news reports showed the animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere had occupied the farm and published photos and videos that it claimed showed unsanitary conditions.

The farm, which was RSPCA Assured, has had its certified status suspended while an investigation takes place.

RSPCA Assured said it was “shocked”​ and “appalled”​ by a video that was published, purporting to depict poor conditions on Hoads Farm land. The organisation said it took allegations of poor welfare issues on its certified farms “extremely seriously”.

Hoads Farm supplies eggs to a number of major supermarkets including Tesco and Asda, which have suspended the sale of the eggs until an investigation is completed.  

A spokesman for Hoads Farm said: “Following this incident, we asked the RSPCA to carry out an inspection of our site, which they completed yesterday. As we expected, they reported the hens being in good health and with good feather cover.

“Additionally, we also had a fully qualified poultry vet visit the site yesterday and, apart from the consequences of the protestors’ actions, again he raised no concerns.”

The spokesman added that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) visited the site with an independent vet, who found no non-compliance with animal welfare. Hoads Farm also said: “We strongly refute the allegations.”​ It said it had been the fourth farm in the area to be targeted by animal rights activists.

Food Manufacture​ attempted to contact the Direct Action Everywhere Group.

On its twitter account @DXE Brighton it said its investigators had visited the farm over a six-month period.

Posting video footage on twitter, it said: “Hoads Farm claims we faked our investigation; here, we have raw uncut footage from our first visit to the farm, which, when compared to photos taken at yesterday’s occupation, proves without a doubt that it was taken at Hoads.”




Related topics: Meat, poultry & seafood

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