A militant animal rights group claimed Tuesday that it had injected eggs with rat poison during an attack on a chicken farm.
"If eaten, these eggs will kill," said a woman claiming to speak for a group called the Animal Rights Militia in a telephone call to a British news agency.
She gave no specific reason for the attack, but it was believed to be a protest of conditions under which hens are kept in order to produce the most possible eggs.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said police were taking the claim seriously but could not immediately confirm that any eggs had been poisoned. "A few eggs were broken and they had left behind a syringe," he said, adding that tests were being carried out to see if the claim was true.
During the attack on the farm at Biggin Hill in Kent, just south of London, a tractor was damaged, paint was dabbed on the walls and a shed containing 18,000 eggs was broken into, the spokesman said.