A DAIRY farm near Skipton has denied claims that it subjected goats to “violence and neglect” after an animal rights group secretly recorded staff during an undercover investigation.

Animal Justice Project said the footage from Pasture House Farm, West Marton, showed workers grabbing and slapping animals – some of which were allegedly left lame and unable to walk.

The farm – which is one of the UK’s largest intensive goat dairies – has refuted the claims.

It said in a statement: “We pride ourselves on the quality of our stock, the high health status of our herd, and in turn the welfare standards we have achieved and maintain.

“We welcome the opportunity to have our farming practises challenged, via direct or indirect means, and though various claims and allegations have been made against our practises, none of what we have seen appears to breach the animal welfare standards to which we adhere.”

Animal Justice Project said it monitored the farm using hidden cameras for several months and filmed a variety of incidents including goats struggling to reach food and water, and piles of dead animals being dumped outside.

It also said goats kept at Pasture House Farm spend “all of their lives inside vast and crowded sheds”.

The farm supplies milk to Delamere Dairy which sells other dairy products such as cheeses and yoghurts to supermarkets in the UK and abroad.

A spokesperson for the company said it frequently visits Pasture House Farm and that it recently passed an independent audit.

The Delamere Dairy spokesperson also said after viewing the secretly filmed footage, “we do not believe there have been any breaches in animal welfare”.

They said: “We take any allegations very seriously and have always been very transparent in our approach to reassure, maintain and promote the standards farms have achieved.”

Animal Justice Project said it has sent its findings to the RSPCA, which has been contacted for comment.

The statement from Pasture House Farm added: “As a business we continue to meet the requirements of all external inspections, announced or unannounced, and actively encourage site visits from all sectors, including government, trade, academia, veterinary or from a variety of groups and auditing bodies.”