Tina Weaver, editor of the Sunday Mirror, said: “We asked the Hillside Animal Sanctuary to investigate, following concerns raised about the welfare of chickens. Martin Coutts works part-time for the Sunday Mirror. He resigned from the Hillside Sanctuary in January 2002, although I am told he retains an unpaid position there and does occasional freelance work. We would be happy to disclose the video to official investigators with the consent of HSA.The photographs were all taken from the video of the investigation, save for the outside shot of the farm.

“I am satisfied with the veracity of our story.”