Two mega-farms that would keep thousands of pigs and millions of chickens to be killed for food have been proposed in Norfolk, England, and animal rights groups are urging residents to lodge objections to the plans with the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. 

The proposed new chicken farm would hold 870,000 chickens across 20 sheds, amounting to about 6.7 million a year. The proposed pig farm will have 14 units that would each house up to 1,000 pigs, amounting to 48,000 pigs being fattened for slaughter there every year.

Hundreds of objections to the plans have already been submitted to the council, and the animal rights group PETA is aiming for 50,000 signatures on its petition against the projects.

Crown Chicken and Wayland Farms, the two companies behind the applications, are both owned by food producer Cranswick, which owns other farms that have been exposed by undercover investigations revealing animals living in poor conditions. In 2023, Animal Justice Project showed footage taken at Bickmarsh Hall, a Red Tractor-approved pig mega-farm, in which pigs being hit and kicked by workers are seen. One pig with a rectal prolapse was cannibalized by others and an ill piglet was left to be trampled by others for 13 hours before being removed from the pen. In 2021, an investigation by Open Cages revealed chickens suffering on an intensive Cranswick-owned farm. Cranswick is reportedly currently investigating one of its “high-welfare” free-range pig farms in Norfolk after footage emerged of a worker beating a pig to death there with an iron bar last summer when the farm was operated by pig meat producer Pilgrim’s.

According to a 2017 report by the Eastern Daily Press, Norfolk already has 74 mega-farms, mainly of birds, which is more than any other county in the UK. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.