Supermarket Warning As Christmas Turkey Shortage Expected Amid Bird Flu Outbreak

Anyone for a takeaway?
Anyone for a takeaway?

Anyone for a takeaway?

Bird flu has decimated half of the UK’s free-range turkeys in the run up to Christmas – and now doubt is being cast on supplies for the festive period.

The British Poultry Council informed MPs on Tuesday that half of the 1.2 million free-range birds produced have died in ‘the worst ever outbreak of the virus’.

Paul Kelly, of Essex-based Kelly Turkeys, warned MPs at the environmental audit committee that there would be “big, big shortages” of free-range turkeys in supermarkets over Christmas.

“Spot prices for imported turkey have doubled. Northern Europe has suffered the same problem as we have,” he said.

To make up for the expected shortages, turkeys are expected to be brought in from abroad, with a hefty price tag attached.

Import prices have more than doubled in Poland and this could be reflected in UK store prices, the Daily Mail reports.

The Government recently ordered all poultry and captive birds in England to be kept indoors because of the disease.

British Poultry Council chief executive Richard Griffiths said at the committee: “This year is the worst bird flu outbreak that we have seen, ever

“We don’t know how the gaps within retail are going to be filled at this point.”