Tilly-Sabco, French co-operative group Unicopa’s poultry abattoir subsidiary, has gone into administration as a result of flagging demand in the wake of the bird flu scare. Output and turnover dropped by 60% and 55% respectively in the first half of the year, triggering heavy losses.

The Brittany-based company employs close to 500 staff.

Specialising in poultry bound for export, Tilly-Sabco was severely hit by the embargo placed on French producers. With the lifting of restrictions being a slow process, the company has been unable to return to a normal level of activity, and has been left holding stocks totalling 4,500 tonnes for which there is little demand on international markets.