A number of UK retailers have suspended contracts with two farms in Norfolk following revelations of animal welfare abuses at the sites uncovered by lobby group Animal Equality.

The abuses were exposed by animal welfare lobbying group, which secretly filmed pigs being “hit and kicked” at farms managed by the East Anglian Pig Co.

The group said the investigation, which saw an undercover investigator work at the two units for 29 days, found “sickly piglets [being] killed by blunt force trauma” … “extreme confinement within sow stalls” … and piglets being “beaten in the head with an iron bar”.

The company had been approved by the RSPCA’s Freedom Foods higher welfare scheme but has since been suspended.

As a result of the investigation, a number of UK retailers have suspended contracts with the farms and are launching investigations into the allegations.

A Tesco spokesperson said the retailer expected “extremely high standards” for animal welfare across its supply chain. “We have immediately stopped taking product from these farms, whilst we investigate this as a matter of urgency with our supplier,” he added.

The Co-Operative took to Facebook to inform consumers it has instructed all its own-brand suppliers not to source from the sites with immediate effect.

“We are committed to supporting British farming and high standards of animal welfare, and act swiftly to investigate and resolve any allegations of bad practice,” it added.

Also on Facebook, Sainsbury’s said the reported abuses were “completely unacceptable”, adding: “Whilst we do not directly source from this farm, we are working with our direct supplier to establish if any of our product has been supplied to them from this farm, and we will work with our supplier and RSPCA to act swiftly.”