Christmas cruelty: Turkeys eaten alive on award-winning farm

Extreme suffering and cannibalism has been revealed on an Essex farm which supplies ‘English Rose’ turkeys to high-end retailers, local butcher shops and pubs.

Harrowing scenes of suffering on an award-winning farm, Grove Smith Turkeys Ltd, have been released by Animal Equality today. Our investigators found injured, sick and crippled birds tightly packed into crowded sheds, with those who didn’t survive left to rot amongst the living.

Filmed in the last four weeks at Hubbard’s Farm in Essex – Grove Smith Turkeys’ main site – the shocking footage shows:

  • Birds who are unable to walk being pecked and eaten alive by their flock mates.
  • Multiple birds with severely infected wounds on their heads and eyes that were left untreated. Some had gone blind.
  • Crowded sheds without adequate enrichment for these inquisitive animals, causing the birds to peck each other out of boredom and frustration.
  • Birds who had their beak tip cut off with a hot blade, a painful mutilation performed without anaesthetic.
  • Dozens of dead birds left to rot among the living, some for so long they were reduced to just skeletons.

    Marketed as ‘prestigious’ and ‘high-welfare’, the farm supplies birds branded as ‘English Rose’ turkeys to high-end retailers such as COOK and The Great British Meat Company, as well as many local butcher shops and pubs including the Young’s chain.

    English Rose Turkeys at Grove Smith Turkeys Ltd Farm in Essex

    Hidden cameras left running for eight days inside one shed showed that the workers were not checking the birds every day – as required by law – resulting in some birds enduring prolonged suffering and a slow death from untreated injuries.

    We have passed our footage on to the RSPCA, Essex Trading Standards and Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency, who are now investigating.

    English Rose Turkeys at Grove Smith Turkeys Ltd Farm in Essex

    Awards and accolades don’t prevent animals from suffering in the meat industry, but you can. With delicious meat-free festive meals now widely available in shops and restaurants across the UK, there’s never been a better time to enjoy a cruelty-free Christmas!