ANIMAL rights activists held a demonstration outside a dairy farm in St Osyth.

Campaign group Colchester Animal Save held the protest outside Wigboro Wick Farm on Saturday morning after a video was released by animal rights organisation Surge.

The video, which was posted online in December, purported to show animal abuse at the site.

Activists from across Essex staged the protest in a bid to draw further attention to the farm after its members were left outraged by the video.

A spokesman for Colchester Animal Save said: “In the end we had a total of 25 activists stand with us.

“The protest has got everyone talking about it and even re sharing the footage from Surge. Everyone has been outraged.”

Colchester Animal Save previously said many people were unaware there was a dairy unit at the farm because it is so hidden.

Following the release of the video, which was recorded last summer, the farm’s dairy unit said it took immediate action, including disciplinary action and implementing a re-training programme.

A spokesman for the unit yesterday said: “Smith Farms Dairy Unit is a family-run farm and we are proud to supply high quality and wholesome milk for the public to enjoy.

“Some people might like to see family farms likes ours shut down as a matter of principle, but we believe that dairy products are part of a healthy and sustainable diet.

“People vote with their shopping trolleys and 99.8per cent of the population continue to buy dairy products.

“We are not hidden away from the public, far from it. “We’ve run Open Farm Sunday days where interested consumers can have a look round the farm and see where their milk comes from.

“We attend local shows with our animals as part of our engagement with consumers.

“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.”

A National Farmers’ Union (NFU) East Anglia spokesman added that it was “unacceptable” to see a farming family’s home and business targeted in such a way.

He added: “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.”

Police officers attended the scene on Saturday morning.

Essex Police was approached for comment, but had not responded at the time of going to press.