Why last year’s bird flu outbreak could mean our Christmas turkeys cost more: Number reared falls by 15% following culls 

Britain faces a shortage of turkeys and higher prices following a fall of 15 per cent in the number being reared.

The bird flu outbreak of last winter saw turkey farmers ordered by Government vets to keep the birds locked inside, rather than allowing them to roam.

This was designed to protect them from picking up the infection brought to the UK by wild birds migrating from the Continent, where there were a series of outbreaks.

Many British farmers did not have the space needed to house the turkeys, leading to culls that reduced the number that were breeding and producing eggs.

The net effect, according to Beacon, which supplies food ingredients to thousands of hotels, restaurants, pubs, workplaces and leisure centres, is that turkey supplies will be down this year.

A spokesman said: ‘Approximately 10 million turkeys are eaten in the UK each year, with 87 per cent of Britons believing Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a roast turkey as part of the festive feast.

News Reporter
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