The UK's Food Standards Agency has suspended four workers after an animal rights group secretly filmed practices at an abattoir.

The footage released by the Animal Aid group showed what appeared to be serious abuses of sheep at the Bowood Yorkshire Lamb slaughterhouse.

The Food Standards Agency said Tuesday "there is no excuse for treating animals in the way shown on the video" and launched an investigation into the slaughterhouse in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, 215 miles (346 kilometers) north of London.

The footage showed abusive practices including sheep being thrown, and kicked in the face and head.

The Muslim Council of Britain said it was "appalled" at the reports of abuse at an abattoir that claims to follow the halal methods of slaughter recognized by Islamic authorities.