Six people have been charged after a group of vegan activists gained access to an abattoir in a protest against the treatment of pigs.

Police were called to the Cranswick Country Foods in Watton at 6am on Wednesday after the group, led by an activist and filmmaker known as Joey Carbstrong, occupied an elevated area in one of the buildings.

In a video clip apparently filmed at the abattoir earlier in the day, Mr Carbstrong said: “We’re currently occupying the Cranswick Watton gas chamber.”

Eastern Daily Press: Cranswick Country Foods in Watton Cranswick Country Foods in Watton (Image: Google)

The activist, who has released a film called Pignorant, held a banner reading “They fight to escape the gas”, with a photo of a caged pig, in the video clip.

He said he wanted to raise awareness about the gas chambers, which he described as “torture chambers”.

Five men and two women were arrested in connection with the incident in Brandon Road and taken to Wymondham Police Station for questioning. 

A woman in her 20s has been bailed on suspicion of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass and will appear at Wymondham Police Station on July 2. 

Joseph Armstrong (Joey Carbstrong), 37, of no fixed abode, Karl Baker, 26, of Cherry Tree Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Amelia Fishlock, 31, of Cherry Tree Road, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Douglas Maw, 55, of Main Road, Yapton, Arundel, Calvin Tasker, 38, of Melen Street, Redditch, Worcestershire and Jacob Ball, 32, of Kingswinford, West Midlands, have all been charged with aggravated trespass.

All six are due to appear at Norwich Magistrates' Court on May 10.

Cranswick Country Foods describes its Watton site on its website as “our dedicated processing facility in Norfolk, producing fresh pork, sausages and added value meal solutions”.

A company spokesman said they were unable to comment about the incident, describing it as “criminal”.