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Hidden cameras left on an award-winning Essex farm have revealed birds unable to walk, being pecked, and eaten alive by their flock mates.

The investigation, by global animal protection agency Animal Equality, took place after an anonymous tip-off about poor conditions.

Grove Smith farm has been accused by the group of failing to perform the legally required daily checks needed to identify sick or injured animals, under The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007.

‘Harrowing Scenes’

“These harrowing scenes are from an award-winning brand marketed as prestigious and high-welfare,” Animal Equality’s UK Director, Dr. Toni Shephard, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.

“It’s time consumers were told the terrifying truth about their Christmas turkey.”

The footage also revealed multiple birds with severely infected wounds that had been left untreated. Some of the birds had their beak tip cut off, which can be painful if performed without anesthetic and aftercare.

Footage from the investigation

‘Left to rot’

Allegedly, there were ‘dozens’ of dead birds amongst the living, some of which were ‘reduced to skeletons’.

All of the footage has been passed to the RSPCA, Essex Trading Standards and Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Lawyers for Grove Smith told The Independent: “It appears that Animal Equality has deliberately manipulated this situation to present a picture of poor conditions which is entirely inaccurate.”

Liam Gilliver

Liam is the Deputy Editor and Social Media Coordinator for Plant Based News. He has written for a number of top publications including Gay Times, Attitude Magazine, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post - and is the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.