Seven people have been arrested after a group of vegan activists gained access to an abattoir in a protest against the treatment of pigs.

Police were called to the Cranswick Country Foods in Watton at 6am today after the group occupied an elevated area in one of the buildings.

Five men and two women were arrested in connection with the incident in Brandon Road.

Three men aged in their 30s, one in his 20s and a fifth in his 50s have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

A woman in her 30s has also been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and a woman in her 20s on suspicion of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass.

All seven people have been taken to Wymondham Police Station for questioning where they remain.

In a video clip apparently filmed at the abattoir earlier in the day, vegan campaigner Joey Carbstrong said: “We’re currently occupying the Cranswick Watton gas chamber.”

The activist, who has released a film called Pignorant, held a banner reading “They fight to escape the gas”, with a photo of a caged pig, in the video clip.

He said he wanted to raise awareness about the gas chambers, which he described as “torture chambers”.

Cranswick Country Foods describes its Watton site on its website as “our dedicated processing facility in Norfolk, producing fresh pork, sausages and added value meal solutions”.

A company spokesman said they were unable to comment about the incident, describing it as “criminal”.