Weaner pigs in tents© Tim Scrivener

Pig farmers and abattoirs in East Anglia are being warned to be vigilant following reports of animal rights activity in the region.

Lizzie Wilson, policy services officer for the National Pig Association, said a farmer from Suffolk had reported that nine welfare campaigners had been found on his farm on Monday morning.

“They turned up unannounced in three cars and were roaming about with filming equipment,” she said.

See also: 7 ways to deter incursions by pig activists

It is not known whether the campaigners were affiliated to any particular group.

Ms Wilson said the issue of activists had become pretty constant for the NPA and the industry and campaigners did appear to be becoming more brazen.

“Back in February and March there was something every day that we had to deal with. Now there are one or two issues on a weekly basis.”

The NPA’s advice to farmers, if activists do try to access their unit without permission, is to contact the police and stay calm when asking them to leave.

“At night we might suggest not approaching [protesters] in case it is dangerous, but during the day we would suggest speaking to them politely and in a civil manner,” she said.

Suffolk Animal Save

In a separate incident this week, protesters from a group called Suffolk Animal Save staged a vigil outside C&K Meats in Eye on 24 October.

Writing on Facebook, the organisers said they wanted to “bear witness” to the pigs and cows as they arrived at the slaughterhouse.

“We will be there for the animals and I hope they will sense our love for them and perhaps take some small comfort in that.”

Meanwhile, two poultry companies have been forced to defend their health and welfare standards after they were targeted by animal rights activists Viva!.

Viva! shot videos on the two enriched cage units – one near Wolverhampton and the other near the Welsh border in Shropshire.