“Crippling lameness and longstanding infections can be seen in abundance, exacerbated by the heinous conditions in which the pigs are forced to live. Tails are chewed out of stress, despite all pigs having been mutilated at birth to shorten them.
“The stock people display a monstrous disregard for the sentient animals under their care, ignoring the sick and dying, and kicking paralysed pigs that cannot get away.
“The unit is squalid, the pigs riddled with disease, and the many dead are left to rot in pens with the living; this is the sort of place that will produce our next pandemic.”
Dr Brough, now an animal rights activist, added: “Unfortunately, the serious health and welfare issues on this farm are not unique, and reflect much wider concerns across the industry.”
Ed Winters, cofounder of Surge, said: “What investigators documented here is yet another example that animal cruelty is not a rarity on farms, but is the norm. Time and time again we are told these investigations are bad apples and don’t represent the reality of animal farming, but by now undercover investigations have exposed cruelty on countless farms that are Red Tractor-certified.”
A Morrisons spokesperson said: “The footage we have seen is appalling and shameful. We are urgently investigating and have immediately suspended Willerby Wold as a supplier.”
Tesco said although the farm did not regularly supply the chain, it had suspended supply from Willerby Wold.
Sainsbury’s said it also suspended the company as a supplier while the findings were investigated, saying it had no direct relationship with the farm but it was possible a tiny amount of product was temporarily sourced from Willerby Wold by a supplier this year.
The farm was a back-up one, and any it uses are “all required to meet our high welfare standards”, the company said. “The health and welfare of our animals is extremely important,” Sainsbury’s added.
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “This footage is very distressing.
“We are concerned that there appears to be violations of the laws in place to protect animal welfare on farms. It appears to show disturbing scenes where sick, dying and dead animals are worried at by other pigs, and a lack of enrichment and bedding.
“We were not contacted about this via our cruelty line, but as soon as we received the footage, we contacted the Animal Plant and Health Agency (APHA) to urge them to look into this as soon as possible and take action.”
A statement on behalf of Willerby Wold Piggeries Ltd read: “The welfare of our animals has been the most important consideration for Willerby Wold Piggeries and continues to be so.
“Recent questions relating to our animal welfare have been raised and we take this very seriously.
“In addition to routine and spot audits, we are currently working with assurance professionals and veterinary advisers to address any concerns or issues that have been raised.”
An Asda spokesman said the chain had comprehensive animal-welfare policies, and its supplier was investigating the issues seen in the footage, adding: “Our priority is to source from producers accredited to Red Tractor or RSPCA Assured standards.”