Thursday, December 7, 2023

Farm shop’s warning over shortage of geese this Christmas

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Local farmers have struggled to supply farm shops and supermarkets with traditional British geese this year because of the largest ever outbreak of avian flu.

Westlands Farm Shop, in the Meon Valley, is anticipating turkey orders will top last year’s because of this.

It has urged customers to place their Christmas orders in good time ahead of the festive month.

Suzi Howard, head butcher at Westlands Farm Shop, said: “We’ve seen brisk trade in the shop, with turkeys being the most popular Christmas meat order this year.

“Because we have no geese available, it is more important than ever for customers to place their meat order early to secure their Christmas lunch centrepiece.

“Despite there being a higher demand for turkeys, we’re confident we will be able to supply orders to all of our customers because we source our festive birds from a local farm on Portsdown Hill – as long as orders are placed as early as possible.

“This year we’ve got a great range of meat to choose from including turkey, chicken, lamb, duck, ham, beef, pork and plenty more.

“But please remember to place your order sooner rather than later.”

Avian flu is a type of bird flu that affects all types of poultry and wild bird.

Bird flu is mostly spread from bird to bird through direct contact with infected saliva or droppings.

More than 140 outbreaks of avian flu have been reported in England this year.

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