ANIMAL rights activists are set to stage a protest at a dairy farm in St Osyth this weekend.

Colchester Animal Save will be demonstrating outside Wigboro Wick Farm after a video was released in December by animal rights organisation Surge purporting to show animal abuse at the site.

Surge said investigators used hidden cameras to film instances of animals being kicked, punched and hit with plastic sticks.

The farm’s dairy unit said it took “immediate action” – including disciplinary action and implementing a re-training programme - after the video was posted online.

Activists from across Essex will now be staging a protest in an attempt to draw further attention to the farm after being left outraged by the video.

A spokesman for Colchester Animal Save said: “Many of us didn’t even know that the dairy farm was even there as it is so hidden.

“A protest will be held down by Wigboro Wick Farm on Saturday. We are hoping to bring awareness of what’s been happening there.

“The dairy industry is a cruel enough industry with female cows being forcibly impregnated every year and soon after birth having their babies taken away from them, leaving mother and baby deeply distressed.

“Male calves are considered a waste product, so are killed sometimes days after birth and females having the same fate as their mothers.”

In a statement to the Gazette following the incident, the dairy unit previously said the welfare of our dairy herd is its "number one priority".

It added: “We aim to uphold the highest standards of animal welfare and care and insist on the same high standards from everyone who works with us.

“We have taken immediate action in relation to the incidents shown (including disciplinary action) and have implemented a comprehensive re-training programme in our determination to ensure that any shortcomings in our systems and practices are addressed.”

It added that trespassers entered the farm unlawfully and secretly filmed many hours of footage.

“We regard this as a gross breach of privacy – of family members, children and staff members – and absolutely condemn it,” it said.

Surge said its investigators did not knowingly engage in any illegal activity such as breaking and entering, theft or criminal damage.