An abattoir in southern France was shut down Tuesday (23 February) after an animal rights group released a video reportedly showing terrible abuse of livestock at the facility.

The graphic video shot by an animal rights group showing animal cruelty at the abbatoir has prompted an investigation, the French agriculture ministry said. Activists from L214 said the footage had been shot between May 2015 and February 2016 in an organic abattoir in Le Vigan, in the French region of the Gard.

The film shows pigs and cows writhing as they come round from electrocution suspended by their back hooves, and abattoir workers taunting sheep with electric charges. The video prompted widespread comment in the French media.

In a statement, the French Agriculture Minister, Stephane Le Foll, said that he condemned "in the firmest way possible the intolerable practice", and that an inquiry would be led by the veterinary police. A different abattoir in the south of France was closed in October when the same organisation released a separate video of abuses to animals.