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Farmers urge Britons not to buy frozen Christmas turkeys as bird flu sparks major shortage

  • December 05, 2022

He said: “The challenge for a lot of the smaller seasonal producers that produce Christmas poultry is they have their Christmas flock on their farm and when the turkeys are infected they all die within four days.

“To give you an example, we had one farmer with 9,500 (birds). The first infection was on Thursday evening, 20 mortality, and by Monday lunchtime they were all dead.”

Mr Kelly himself said that he has lost a staggering £1.2million this year, sparking concerns that he may not be able to rear poultry for Christmas in the future.

He said: “Can we take the risk to grow Christmas poultry based on what we’ve seen this year? We couldn’t. And had I known what I know now we would not have grown the turkeys we did. Looking to next year, I don’t want to put the farm at risk.

James Chamings, a farmer based in Exeter, told the Guardian that the situation is pretty worrying as he fears for the safety of his 600 turkeys. However, he did note that his business was seeing increased sales as butchers whose usual suppliers have been affected have been putting in more orders. 

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