France's No.1 meat producer's slogan, "With us, you'll always love meat", doesn't go down well with animal-rights group L214. They have accused Charal of cruelty to animals and not respecting bovine slaughter regulations. To prove their point, one of its members penetrated a Charal slaughterhouse undercover and filmed what he saw.

Warning! These videos may be found disturbing

According to the association, Charal waits too long between the moment the cows are stunned and when they are bled to death. This gives the animal time to regain consciousness before its throat is slit, causing it unnecessary suffering.

Nevertheless, French veterinary services have never found a problem with Charal's slaughter practices. Their reports do not convince L214, who accuse sanitary authorities of favouring meat companies.

"It's never pretty when you slit a throat"

Jean Jean Le Joubioux is a retired French vet. He was in charge of supervising practices at the Marvejols slaughterhouse, near Lozère.

I’m surprised this type of video ever leaked. When I worked as a veterinary, it was tacitly forbidden to take a single photo in the slaughterhouses, let alone film. The butchers would never have accepted it. They know their job looks terrible. Of course, the footage is shocking, but you have to accept the fact that animals need to be killed before they are eaten. When you slit a throat, you slit a throat. It’s never pretty. From what I see in the video, the workers are strictly respecting the current livestock slaughter protocol. The fact that there is no blood on the butcher’s shoes and aprons indicated that the slaughterhouse is clean and well run. Either that or the video was shot early in the morning. In any case, if this is candid camera footage, I don’t see anything wrong in what’s going on in the factory."