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Animal welfare group Viva! are celebrating their latest victory as food assurance scheme Red Tractor drops Gravel Farm – an intensive turkey farm which annually produces over 33,000 turkeys and supplies Sainsbury’s. The farm was approved by Red Tractor until Viva! released their investigation and urged them to carry out an inspection. In direct response, Red Tractor terminated their membership in the scheme and have reported the farm to the Animal and Plant Health Agency, pending criminality charges.
Gravel Farm was investigated by Viva! Campaigns between September and November 2019, with hidden cameras filming round the clock for four straight days in November. The farm supplies turkeys to Avara Foods, one of Britain’s largest food manufacturers producing over 4.5 million turkeys, ducks and chickens a week. Avara Foods supplies some of the UK’s largest retailers including Sainsbury’s.
Viva! Campaigns’ three-month investigation reveals shocking scenes of suffering and cruelty with a total disregard for animal welfare. The video footage was obtained from inside the farm’s two state-of-the-art turkey sheds – housing up to 5,500 birds each at any one time, which were built in 2010 to diversify the farmer’s existing 150-head beef herd and boost profits.
Aston spoke to Lex Rigby, campaigns manager at Viva! to discuss the investigation and what alternatives to turkey there are this Christmas.