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

Campaign group Colchester Animal Save will be demonstrating outside Wigboro Wick Farm after a video was released 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 industry.”

In a statement, Smith Farms’ Dairy Unit said: “We are proud to supply high quality and wholesome milk for the great British public to enjoy.

“Some people might like to see dairies shut down across the country but we believe that dairy products are part of a healthy and sustainable diet.

“The vast majority of households - 99.8% - continues to buy dairy products.

“The milk we supply comes from cows we look after here and their health and welfare is our number one priority.

“ That’s in our own interests too because healthy cows are happy cows and happy cows produce more milk.

“We are always working to improve standards in all areas and the farm is monitored regularly by outside bodies.”

An NFU East Anglia spokesman added: “It’s unacceptable to see a farming family’s home and business targeted in this way.

“We all have the right to protest peacefully but farmers also have the right to run their businesses without unwarranted interference, trespass or attempts to disrupt lawful activities.

“We are providing support to the family and we would expect the police to take appropriate action against any demonstrators who break the law.”