UK bird flu epidemic threatens to cancel Christmas

As a bird flu epidemic in UK poultry farms threatens to cancel Christmas, the impact of the nation’s worst-ever bird flu outbreak on Christmas supplies will be discussed by MPs later this month.

The epidemic, caused by unhygienic conditions at industrial turkey production facilities is in Norfolk, the centre of turkey production. With more than 50 cases in the last six weeks, hundreds of thousands of commercial birds have been needlessly killed and incinerated.

Perhaps the government is trialling new ways of dealing with the next Covid-19 crisis. Universal slaughter of innocents was not widely suggested during the last round of new variants, but the inhumane massacre seems to be the answer to the latest epidemic. Perhaps the policy will change when the virus jumps species.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee is due to discuss the crisis on November 29. MPs will consider the effect of the outbreak on both wild birds and the poultry sector, and the support available to factory owners. The committee will discuss the causes of the outbreak, the effectiveness of containment measures, and the impact on the availability and price of poultry products, including Christmas turkeys.

Earlier this month, Mid Norfolk Conservative MP George Freeman, Minister of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, described the crisis driven by the most appalling conditions inside the turkey factories in his constituency, as a national emergency which demands a “war footing” from the government.

Neighbouring conservative MP Jerome Mayhew urged the prime minister to end the compensation delays which are causing “significant losses” for the very producers behind the disaster.

UK bird flu epidemic threatens to cancel Christmas | News by Thaiger
MPs reckon that the national emergency caused by battery poultry production demands a “war footing” from the government.

Tesco is considering joining Lidl and Asda in rationing eggs, as bird flu causes shortages on supermarket shelves across the country. While at present there is sufficient availability, rationing will be considered if the situation worsens – the “war footing” desired by the MPs supporting those responsible for the impending disaster.

Currently, branches of Asda and Lidl are limiting customers to two boxes of eggs each, while other supermarkets are sourcing eggs from other countries, including Italy.

The Christmas turkey tradition can be traced back to Henry VIII, whose reign began just one year before a lost Columbus ran aground on the Americas and called them India. It was His Majestic Obesity who decided to make the tough old bird a staple for our festive day and we’ve been putting up with the tasteless tradition as part of our celebrations ever since. This year’s turkey-free feats could be the best Christmas ever!

Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development is confident that Thailand is free from bird flu, but has ordered strict monitoring throughout the country.

World News

Jon Whitman

Jon Whitman is a seasoned journalist and author who has been living and working in Asia for more than two decades. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, Jon has been at the forefront of some of the most important stories coming out of China in the past decade. After a long and successful career in East sia, Jon is now semi-retired and living in the Outer Hebrides. He continues to write and is an avid traveller and photographer, documenting his experiences across the world.

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