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Highland film and TV star expresses shock over alleged acts of extreme cruelty at Scottish pig farm

By Alasdair Fraser

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Karen Gillan.
Karen Gillan.

Hollywood actor Karen Gillan has added her voice to the outrage greeting revelations that a top Scottish pig farmer is being investigated for extreme cruelty to animals in his ownership.

The Inverness born and raised star of Guardians of the Galaxy, Jumanji and Dr Who expressed her disgust on Twitter after footage emerged of pigs being hammered to death and left in agony at the P&G Sleigh Pig Unit at Oldmeldrum in Aberdeen-shire.

Owner Philip Sleigh was, until last month, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland’s pig standard-setting committee.

He has declined to comment.

Campaigning charity Animal Equality Uk went undercover at the complex and captured graphic footage of pigs suffering severe injuries.

Some piglets deemed too small or weak were hammered to death or bludgeoned against a concrete floor, and potentially left suffering.

The Scottish Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (Scottish SPCA) has confirmed a report will be sent to the procurator fiscal.

Ms Gillan wrote on Twitter: “Horrified to read the story of Phillip Sleigh who was caught committing extremely cruel acts against the pigs on his farm P&G Sleigh Pig Unit at Oldmeldrum.

“And to hear he was, until very recently, chairman of Quality Meat Scotland’s pig standard-setting committee is shocking.”

Ms Gillan’s post warned followers the details of the report on cruelty at the farm was “very upsetting” and continued: “This meat was sold to supermarkets including @Tesco and @LidlGB.

“I’m shocked to think about how long this terrible cruelty was going on and I wonder how we can go about getting stronger regulations on the treatment of animals.”

She then tagged in the UK Food Standards Agency and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the largest animal rights organisation in the world.

The charity’s undercover investigation is also said to have found evidence that many pigs were poorly cared for with wounds unattended and kept in dark and foul conditions that fell below accepted industry standards.

The group’s allegations have been sent to relevant authorities and are now being investigated.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “We will be submitting a report to the Procurator Fiscal based on information we received concerning breaches of animal welfare law at a farm in northeast Scotland.

“Considering this, we are unable to comment further at this time.”

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