Thousands of tubes of Savlon have been removed from the shelves of Tesco, Boots and Superdrug after The Animal Rights Militia claimed they had injected a number of the products with bleach.

The group posted an internet message stating they targeted Savlon because its manufacturer Novartis was believed to be among the clients of animal testing laboratory Huntingdon Life Sciences.

"We don't want to kill living beings like Novartis [does], but the side-effects and the inevitable hospital stay will give people an idea of what Novartis pays for inside Huntingdon Life Sciences,” said part of the internet message.

Novartis told the Mail it was contacting all the retailers it supplied, including Asda and Sainsbury.