Red Tractor has terminated a farm’s dairy scheme membership following an investigation into footage shown on TV earlier this week.

The footage, shot undercover and aired during BBC‘s Panorama programme titled ‘A Cow’s Life: The True Cost of Milk’, showed workers from the Welsh farm physically abusing animals.

This, Red Tractor said, breaches its standards and the law.

“The undercover footage showed serious breaches of Red Tractor standards and the law, demonstrating a systematic disregard for animal welfare by those with a duty of care,” a statement on its website read.

“Red Tractor’s system of routine farm inspections and unannounced spot checks go a long way to ensuring compliance with our standards. Where there is a clear violation of our membership rules and our standards are not upheld, a farm will be terminated from our scheme.”

However, the not-for-profit “accept that some breaches are not always detectable during inspections”. The statement noted that individuals can share any concerns they may have, confidentially, through the its website.

“Red Tractor assures over 11,000 dairy farms which meet robust standards on animal welfare, environmental protection and food safety,” the statement continued.

“Three other dairy farms were featured in Panorama’s programme, each was Red Tractor assured and represented good farming practices.

“The unacceptable actions of staff on one farm in no way represents the vast majority of UK dairy farmers or British agricultural practice.”

Red Tractor

Red Tractor is the UK’s biggest farm and food assurance scheme. Its symbol denotes that a product has been farmed, processed and packed in the UK.

It was founded in 2000 and, following an industry consultation in 2008, received funding from the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB). However, in December 2021, a decision to stop AHDB funding was made