Farm staff mis-treating ducks.

8 February 2011, 12:52

The investigation by Sky News and Hillside Animal Sanctuary has footage of free-range ducks being swung by their necks by farm workers.

Secret filming was taken at Hall Farm in Hingham in Norfolk and shows people cruelly herding the ducks into crates to be taken away for slaughter.

Hall Farm is contracted by producer Green Label, who hired the workers.

Green Label told us:

"We have launched an inquiry to review  procedures and the farm has been suspended until the investigation has been completed. As part of this process we have also suspended all of the contract catchers who worked on the farm."

The ducks are processed by Gressingham Foods then sold on the shelves of Waitrose as a high-welfare, free-range product.

Consumers pay a premium for free-range products in the belief the animals have been well looked after.

Waitrose have told Heart:

"We are appalled by the footage taken at Hall Farm and as soon as we saw it we suspended the supplier and sent in a vet to ensure the welfare of the ducks remaining on the farm. Following an immediate and detailed investigation, we have now ended our relationship with the supplier and they no longer supply Waitrose. The behaviour seen on the film is totally unacceptable and completely goes against the high welfare standards Waitrose expects of its farmers. We are also reviewing our processes to make sure we do everything we can to ensure nothing like this can ever happen again."

To see the footage, click the link above.

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