FIRST UK ANIMAL LAW FIRM ISSUES LEGAL COMPLAINT ABOUT LARGE DAIRY FARM IN BBC PANORAMA INVESTIGATION
UK animal law firm Advocates for Animals has sent a legal complaint, on behalf of its client Animal Equality UK, to Carmarthenshire County Council, urging it to investigate the farm covered in a Panorama episode aired on 14 February.
The farm involved is a dairy farm that supplies to the UK’s largest independent dairy processor and wholesaler: Freshways. Freshways, based in London, distributes dairy products to a number of established retailers and businesses, including Costa Coffee, British Airways, Londis, Budgens and P&O Cruises. Freshways also supplies Morrisons’ wholesale operation, which supplies products to restaurants, cafés and Amazon Fresh.
During late 2021, Animal Equality sent an investigator to covertly film the farm over several months. During that time a culture of violence towards the cows and neglect was witnessed, including workers kicking and punching cows in the face and stomach, and hitting them with sharp, metal shovels. Sick and injured cows were also left to suffer. On one occasion a cow was left in excruciating pain after her unborn calf had died inside of her. Despite a veterinarian recommending prompt euthanasia, the on-site manager opted to delay action. The veterinarian was recorded saying that “this is one place where they’d rather just save the money”. The cow died overnight.
The treatment shown in the undercover footage reveals widespread suffering. The distressing footage was revealed to millions of viewers on BBC One’s Panorama last night. The programme scrutinised the abuse and neglect taking place on the farm.
Abigail Penny, Executive Director of Animal Equality UK, says: “We are urging the authorities to use the full force of the law to hold this farm accountable for its abusive actions towards animals. A conviction of cruelty won’t help those cows who were brutally beaten or left to die in agony overnight, but it will send a strong message to this industry that the UK will not tolerate such cruelty.”