An investigation has been launched by the French Ministry for Agriculture after an undercover video showed animal abuse at an abattoir in the south of France.

According to the Ministry, there are 263 abattoirs (cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, horses) in France with a total annual production of 305m tonnes in France.

The French Minister for Agriculture, Stephane Le Foll has asked the prefect (the State's representative in a department or region) to suspend activity in the abattoirs.

The video of the abattoir in Pays de Soule, Mauleon shows animals being slaughtered inappropriately with incidents of stun gun failures and animals being suspended and being decapitated before they are dead yet found.

Despite the strengthening of inspections in the field of animal welfare in slaughterhouses, it is the third video revealing such acts of cruelty to animals, according to the ministry.

In November 2015, Le Foll instructed the prefects to ensure the prevention of all acts of abuse during the slaughter and recalled the responsibility of operators in the field of food safety and animal welfare.

In these circumstances, the Minister asked the prefects to achieve, within a month, specific inspections on animal protection in all beef slaughterhouses nationwide.

Stephane Le Foll demanded, in the case of wrongs proved during these inspections that, without delay, approval [to slaughter animals] was to be withdrawn for each abattoir in the wrong and a report established.

Please Be Advised That The Footage In The Below Video Contains Disturbing Images.