The seizure took place at an unnamed British airport. The farm allegedly procuring the antibiotics sent chickens to the slaughtering and processing company Moy Park, which in turn supplies a large number of UK retailers, including Tesco, Ocado and Sainsbury's. Authorities have started an investigation into the company under suspicion.
The seized antibiotic, amoxicillin, is approved for veterinary use but is strictly regulated and needs to be prescribed by a veterinarian. Amoxicillin can serve as a growth promoter, providing an incentive for farms to illicitly feed it to their animals. The incident has raised concerns about antibiotic contamination in the food chain, but the Food Standards Agency has sought to reassure customers. Regulators across Europe have cracked down on the overuse of antibiotics in poultry farming in recent years, which is thought to be leading to the spread of drug-resistant diseases.