WARNING: Distressing content

FOOD regulators are investigating after an animal rights group claimed to have filmed a pig farm worker killing piglets by bashing them into the floor.

Officials at welfare standards Red Tractor say the footage is ''very disappointing'' and has suspended the Berkshire farm's certification.

Disturbing footage, seen by the Chronicle, was shot by vegan group Viva! Campaigns, and claims to show a man 'knocking' young piglets - slamming their heads onto a concrete floor, according to the vegan campaigners.

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It is said to have been filmed at Calvesley farm, Yattendon, a breeding facility in West Berkshire.

The Reading Chronicle has chosen not to publish the video.

Viva! claim to have filmed a catalogue of disturbing scenes including piglets dumped in a gangway and writhing in pain.

Other accusations include animal cruelty such as claims of workers pulling pig's teeth out with pliers, slicing off piglet's tails with no pain relief, routine mutilations, and 'ruthlessly throwing' piglets from their stalls into metal troughs.

The group also allege that the films show an entire shed of sick animals covered in lacerations and bites.

Viva! says the investigation took place over the course of three weeks, using hidden cameras.

It also included installing cameras at Whiteshoot, a fattening and finishing centre in Oxfordshire - both owned Winterbrook Farm Partners.

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Viva! says some of the scenes are in ''complete violation of the Government's guidance on how to handle 'fallen stock''.

The group founder Juliet Gellatley said: "'Our relationship with animals can no longer be just focused on exploitation, the way meat is produced is now considered to be a global threat.

''It's not just a case of banning wet markets, although that can't come soon enough.

''We need to stop factory farming too and are calling on consumers to choose vegan."

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A spokesperson for Red Tractor, a product certification programme, said: ''We were very disappointed by some of the images in the footage.

''Protecting animal health and welfare is one of our top priorities. Red Tractor requires all members to meet every standard, every day and take any allegations of breaches seriously.

'We immediately launched an investigation and as a result the farms' Red Tractor Certification have been suspended and sanctions put in place to address the issues raised through this process.''

Both farms and Winterbrook Farm Partners have been approached for a comment.