Around half of the free-range turkeys produced for Christmas in the UK have died or been culled due to bird flu

Richard Griffiths, chief executive of the British Poultry Council, said around 600,000 of the 1.3m birds had been affected.

The UK has been hit by the worst bird flu outbreak in history this year and earlier this month the government ordered all captive birds and poultry to be kept indoors.

Speaking to the government’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Griffiths said that around 8.5 million to nine million turkeys were typically produced for Christmas in the UK and just over one million had been culled or died.

Around 36% of poultry farms are under some form of restrictions, Griffiths said.

“So it’s huge and the costs for industry and food production are potentially enormous,” he added.

Paul Kelly, managing director of Kelly Turkeys, a hatchery that supplies farms around the UK, said the outbreak had been “devastating” for farmers and businesses were being “wiped out”.

He told MPs he knew of a farmer in Norfolk whose whole flock had died and he had lost his entire business.

Kelly added that without a vaccine many farmers “may not have the confidence to grow Christmas poultry next year”.

He said the situation was likely to lead to a shortage of turkey supplies, but not necessarily a spike in retail prices.








Courtesy of Caterer and Hotelkeeper