Bird flu impact on livestock sales

SUFFOLK'S bird flu outbreak has had an impact on livestock sales - but should not affect the quantity or quality of meat on sale according to butcher George Debman.

SUFFOLK'S bird flu outbreak has had an impact on livestock sales - but should not affect the quantity or quality of meat on sale according to butcher George Debman.

He said: “I've just come back from a livestock market at Campsea Ashe and there was no poultry on sale there - traders were worried. It was a bit strange.

“But I don't think I will have any problems in getting hold of poultry. I use a regular supplier and there should be no real problems. Certainly there has been no effect on business over the weekend.”

There was similar story from the large supermarkets with Asda, Morrisons and Sainsburys reporting no change in sales of turkey, chicken or eggs.

The NFU urged shoppers today to keep buying British poultry.

An Asda spokeswoman said: "Sales are holding up. They are no different to where we would expect them to be for this time of the month. Customers seem to have faith in their turkey still."

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Both Asda and Sainsbury's are continuing to stock Bernard Matthews and own-brand turkey products.

A Sainsbury's spokeswoman said the chain's sales of poultry and eggs were unchanged.

She said: "I think consumers are getting a bit more savvy and a bit wiser to the fact that this isn't a food safety issue.”

Charles Bourns, chairman of the NFU's poultry board, said farmers were worried about the potential impact on sales.

He urged shoppers: "Just keep eating chicken and enjoying it. There is no danger from it. This is a disease of chickens and not of humans. Just carry on eating it as per normal.'

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