UK consumers appear unphased by the discovery that a wild swan in Scotland was infected with H5N1 avian influenza, with the four biggest supermarkets reporting steady poultry and egg sales.
“Sales remain are unchanged. Consumers have not stopped buying poultry and poultry products,” a spokesperson for Tesco told just-food. Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons also noted this trend, confirming to just-food today (10 April) that poultry sales have remained stable.
When avian influenza was detected in France and Italy there followed a sharp decline in poultry sales. The UK’s poultry industry had been concerned that consumers in the UK would follow suit and stop buying poultry due to bird flu fears.
Chairman of the National Farmers’ Union Poultry Board Charles Bourns said: “This is fantastic news. It is great the British public has realised this is a disease of birds and not of humans.
“We are extremely grateful the public is continuing to eat British chicken and eggs. It is important people carry on supporting the poultry industry – if they stop the industry will be devastated. If they carry on we will get through this.”