March 8 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The RSPCA has confirmed it will be taking no further action against a poultry wholesaler at a north Norfolk farm after investigating allegations made by campaigners.
Video footage was captured by investigators from Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham after they received an anonymous tip-off.
The film appeared to show chickens at Green Acres Farm in Southrepps being manhandled into crates before being shipped off for slaughter.
But chicken farmer Richard Pointer, of Hevingham, who leased the land, said the birds were “not mistreated” and added that the handling of the birds was to industry standard.
Mr Pointer has worked in the industry for more than 35 years and been on the Southrepps site for more than 20.
Following an investigation, a spokesman from the RSPCA said: “An inspector visited the farm and gave advice to the farmer leasing the premises on a number of welfare issues that arose from the footage, including the way the chickens were handled.”
A press statement issued by a family member on behalf of the farm owners - who did not want to be named - said they retired more than 10 years ago, and were not involved in the running of the business.
A lease had been agreed “in good faith” but notice has been given to terminate it.
A “shoo-before-shooting” policy to control pigeons has been described by a leading Norfolk farmer as “completely bonkers”.