Animal Justice Proect's undercover investigations into whether animal welfare good in the UK?

What we achieved in 2021

Thousands of animals are suffering on farms across the country. Their abuse and exploitation goes on behind closed doors, but we won’t let it go unnoticed. Animal Justice Project’s brave and dedicated undercover investigators continue to go above and beyond to expose and end animal exploitation. We conduct investigations aimed at exposing farms, rearers, dealers, traders and abattoirs across the country. No job is too difficult for our team.
"Through covert surveillance footage, animal suffering can be witnessed at first hand by the viewer. Seeing such footage educates people who can then make informed choices about their diets and lifestyle. Covert investigations are essential to aid social change, I am very proud to play my part in this process.”
Animal Justice Project Investigator
Animal Justice project undercover investigations into UK farming

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EXPOSING THE TRUTH

Animal Justice Project undercover investigators who put themselves at risk day and night to expose the reality for animals on intensive and so-called ‘high welfare’ farms. We reveal the truth behind the labels and create landmark changes along the way.

They are a highly skilled, specialist team with years of experience in field work. They gather intelligence using various methods and highly sophisticated surveillance techniques. All of our investigations are carried out to an extremely high standard, with care taken to ensure material can be used for prosecutions.

Past Investigations and Exposés

In just a few years, Animal Justice Project has become a leader in the field of undercover investigations. By continuing to expose cruelty, the industry can no longer deny there are more than “a few bad apples” and public perceptions are changing. Animal exploitation is the norm on farms. Legislation won’t change this while animals continue to be treated solely as products whose only value is profit.

Award-winning goat dairy

2022 - Delamere Dairy
Investigation into Calf Trade and Slaughter
Over a two-month period, we investigated a major goat dairy brand, Delamere Dairy, at one of their flagship contracted farms, Pasture House Farm in North Yorkshire. Producing over 40 million ‘award-winning’ products every year, this is one of the UK’s largest goat dairies and is seen across all major supermarkets. Holding over 2,000 goats, the owner, Phil Ormerod, is the Director for the Milking Goat Association, a body representing UK commercial goat farmers.
  • All goats were kept in a zero-grazing system, unable to ever go outdoors and display natural behaviours such as grazing
  • Many sick and lame individuals
  • Nanny goats who were so heavily pregnant they could not stand up, left immobile under their immense size
  • Male and female day-old kid goats killed on farm in front of other goats, filmed as a UK-first
  • Kids were left mutilated as they have their tiny horns removed in a sadistic process called ‘disbudding’
  • Verbal and physical abuse against goats of all ages
  • Over 100 dead goats left on piles strewn across the farm, even on a public footpath open to scavengers

Organic Dairy Farm

2021 - Bath Soft Cheese organic dairy
The seven-month investigation (273 hours of footage) exposes cruel and inhumane practices at a multi award-winning organic dairy farm in Bath. What we filmed was a far cry from the picture painted by this farm and shows that organic still means pain, suffering and death.These included:
  • Three-day old calves being dragged from mothers by rope around their neck
  • One calf crying for over 39 hours straight after separation
  • Mother cows bellowing for their babies for hours after and appearing to seek out their babies
  • Calves housed in small isolations pens significantly smaller than the pens shown to visitors on the farm’s ‘open farm day’ (which we filmed at undercover)
  • One newly-separated calf housed in a pen for 28 days – twice as long as the farm’s two week claim
  • Verbal and physical abuse of cattle – staff members slapping, punching, and kicking cows in the face, legs and udders; as well as hitting them with alkathene pipes
  • Multiple cases of lameness correlating to ‘impaired mobility’ and ‘extremely impaired mobility’ according to veterinary opinion
  • Rough dehorning of calves
  • Depriving calves of milk
  • Tiny calves sent to slaughter via a dealer, Will Pollett near Bristol

Small Abattoir Slaughter: Pigs, sheep and bulls

2021 – G & Gb Hewitt abattoir
Inbestigation into Small Abattoir Slaughter: Pigs, sheep and bulls
Shocking hidden-camera footage obtained over two months (200 hours of footage) by Animal Justice Project at a Cheshire-based slaughterhouse deemed ‘generally satisfactory’ by the Government’s own food watchdog, ‘Food Standards Agency’, reveals horrific cruelty to pigs, sheep and cows before they die:
  • Bulls violently beaten for over 40 minutes (over 200 times) by staff and the manager with electric goads before being killed
  • Piglets having throats cut, then being thrown onto a pile with no checking of signs of life, and finally being thrown into hot water tank
  • Tiny piglets brutally thrown into the tank while apparently still conscious
  • Short stun times, as little as one second, and poor stunning of pigs and sheep. The animals kicked out and gasped whilst hanging after stun
  • The immediate cutting/dressing of pigs’ legs following ‘sticking’ and whilst pigs thrashed on shackles, thus not allowing enough time for the animals to bleed out
  • Stunning equipment repeatedly failed, causing panic and distress to pigs and sheep
  • Long ‘stun-to-kill’ time
  • The government-appointed veterinarian not leaving the lairage to check on animals stunned and killed

Calf Trade and Slaughter

2020 – Oaklands Livestock Centre and Hewitts Abattoir
2021 -  Buitelaar ‘Collection Centre’
Investigation into Calf Trade and Slaughter
An extensive undercover project spanning five months at a dealer’s yard where tiny, ‘reject’ male dairy calves, labelled “mongrels” and “grass rats” by some farmers, are sent to slaughter, as well as the killing of calves inside an abattoir. In a separate investigation, our team filmed inside a calf ‘collection centre’ in Wrexham.
  • Tiny calves, some from dairy farms supplying Sainsbury, thrown down ramps, kicked and hit by staff
  • A culture of abuse amongst workers towards calves
  • Calves starved of food for over 21 hours and no water provided for unweaned calves at any time during filming. A breach of UK law
  • Brutal killing of young calves in abattoir
  • Calves taken to the slaughterhouse as young as nine days old and being left all night in cold, wet lairage

Beef & Veal

2020 – Berryfields Farm and Badgers Cross
An undercover investigation into a beef ‘mega farm’ in Daventry, Northamptonshire supplying major supermarkets and sending 4,500 cows a year to slaughter, as well as Somerset rearing farm, Badgers Cross which raises beef and veal calves under 'Cattle Connect' for Waitrose. This is a UK-first and reveals the fate of bull calves who go on for rearing at so-called zero-grazing farm.
  • Calves under a month old at Badgers Cross being roughly pushed around by workers, yelled and shouted at
  • 23 Red Tractor and DEFRA guidelines breached at Berryfields
  • Cows beaten with pipes and fists, kicked, had tails twisted, and one had a bucket thrown in his face causing him to slam onto the concrete floor
  • Sick, lame and injured cows left to suffer in a filthy ‘hospital pen’
  • Cows struggling to walk moved by workers with fists, yelling, swearing, and kicking through the crush and walkways
  • Drone images showing the industrial scale of beef farming

Duck Slaughter

2020 - Gressingham Foods slaughterhouse
For the first time ever, Animal Justice Project placed cameras for 24 hours inside Gressingham Food’s huge slaughterhouse in Redgrave, Suffolk (the largest duck abattoir in the UK), This investigation inside the abattoir was featured in every major newspaper, reaching thousands of people and reveals mandatory CCTV and government audits inside UK slaughterhouses is failing to prevent animal cruelty and suffering.
  • A staggering fifteen breaches of EU, UK government and Red Tractor guidelines in just 24 hours
  • The brutal handling of birds and yanking them by their necks on shackles
  • Shackling and involuntary inversion appeared to cause the ducks significant distress
  • Workers argued and shouted at each other, even physically assaulted each other, whilst roughly shackling distressed and panicked birds
  • Ducks left hanging for over 14 minutes - well over the maximum time of 2 minutes specified in both UK and EU legislation
  • Ducks arrived dead in crates and one bird was covered in blood

Duck Farms

2019 & 2020 – Gressingham Foods duck farms
Investigation into Gressingham Foods duck farms
Animal Justice Project filmed for two months on Gressingham Foods duck farms in Thetford, Norfolk supplying Red Tractor Assured duck to Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Tesco, Co-Op, ASDA and Morrisons.
  • Barren sheds entirely void of any enrichment or open water, and housing up to 12,000 ducks
  • Thousands of ducks in large windowless sheds with no water to bath or even preen themselves in
  • Shackling and involuntary inversion appeared to cause the ducks significant distress
  • Ducks arrived dead in crates and one bird was covered in blood
  • Each duck was afforded just 2 foot square floor space
  • Ducks and ducklings pedalling on their backs in clearly great distress
  • Constant lighting for 47 hours
  • Lame ducks were seen by workers and then ignored
  • Workers roughly grabbed ducks by their necks, carried them through the sheds – still by their necks – then broke their necks and threw them onto the flock

Turkeys

2019 – Pastures Poultry organic farm and abattoir
Investigation into  Pastures Poultry organic farm and abattoir
Another ‘gold star’, high-end farm filmed at by Animal Justice Project. This time free-range turkeys in Northampton. Our investigation team uncovered:
  • Turkeys being plucked alive
  • Terrified chickens entering scalding tanks alive and flapping
  • Guinea fowls’ feathers being ripped out whilst still conscious
  • The brutal handling of birds and yanking them by their necks on shackles
  • Slaughter in full view of other birds waiting for their turn

Free-Range Broiler Chickens

2019 – RSPCA chicken farms
Investigation into RSPCA chicken farms
Hidden-camera footage reveals the horrible truth of what happens to RSPCA, ‘high-welfare’ chickens behind closed doors:
  • Almost 500 chicks died in their first week
  • A dilapidated, sparse and largely concrete 'range' for 'free-range' birds on the RSPCA-certified farm
  • Kicking, throwing and snapping of the necks of baby chicks; and the leaving of one chick over eight hours to die
  • Lame birds and dying birds left to suffer for days
  • Workers breaking the necks of adult birds and throwing them convulsing on the ground to die or flap off
  • A worker urinating into a bucket then throwing live but seriously impaired birds into it eight hours later
  • Catching teams cursing, throwing, kicking and slamming birds into crates during catching for slaughter

DRONE INVESTIGATIONS

Animal Justice Project’s ‘eyes in the sky’ provide a new perspective on the devastating impact that animal agriculture has on animals, the environment, and rural communities.

Equipped with high-tech video cameras, our drones fly above farms, slaughterhouse and livestock markets, capturing the nightmarish scale of these facilities from above.
"We have to see them, show their hidden reality and expose industry lies.”
Animal Justice Project Investigator
Animal Justice project undercover investigations into UK farming

10

Investigations released over just three years
Animal Justice project undercover investigations into UK farming

121,007

Views on our investigation videos

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