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Half of UK’s Christmas turkeys misplaced to chook flu outbreak

Britons might wrestle to pay money for a free-range turkey or goose for the Christmas desk this 12 months after an trade head stated about half of them have both died or been culled because of the nation’s largest-ever outbreak of avian flu.

Richard Griffiths, chief govt of the British Poultry Council, instructed lawmakers that British farmers normally produce 1.2 to 1.3 million free-range birds for the festive interval.

“We have seen round 600,000 of these free-range birds being immediately affected,” he stated.


Giving proof to parliament’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Griffiths stated whole turkey manufacturing for Christmas within the UK was normally about 8.5 to 9 million birds. Of these, simply over a million have died or been culled.

He didn’t know what the impression could be on costs.

“That is known as a query for retailers at this level. We have no idea how the gaps inside retail are going to be crammed,” he stated.

The U.K. will face a likely Christmas turkey shortage as over half of the commonwealth's free-range turkeys have been wiped out by rising avian flu cases.

The U.Okay. will face a possible Christmas turkey scarcity as over half of the commonwealth’s free-range turkeys have been worn out by rising avian flu circumstances.
(REUTERS/Matthew Childs)

The main grocery store teams have up to now been comparatively relaxed of their public statements about turkey availability at Christmas.

Market chief Tesco stated in October it anticipated to have the ability to fulfill demand, whereas earlier this month Sainsbury’s stated it had ordered extra turkeys for Christmas this 12 months than final 12 months, giving it a buffer in case the disaster did hinder provide.

Also, Marks & Spencer, which generally sells one in 4 contemporary turkeys consumed within the UK at Christmas, stated it had robust plans to guard provide.


However, poultry farmer Paul Kelly instructed the committee, “there will probably be a giant, massive scarcity of free vary British turkeys on the cabinets this 12 months,” noting “the most important impact has been on the supermarkets.”

Griffiths stated that for the reason that starting of October there had been almost 140 circumstances of chook flu within the UK, with 1.6 million birds culled.

He stated 36% of poultry farms within the UK had been now topic to avian flu controls, which implies birds should be saved indoors.

“So it is enormous and the … prices for trade and meals manufacturing are probably monumental.”

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