Poultry sales have held up well in the 24 hours since the H5N1 strain of avian bird flu was confirmed in a dead swan in Scotland, according to the NFU.

All the big four supermarket chains had reported no significant change to poultry meat or egg sales, the union said.

Chairman of the NFU 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.”

The NFU commends strong retail support for the poultry industry with most outlets reassuring customers that all poultry, properly cooked, is safe to eat. 

The UK poultry industry is worth £1.6bn a year, and consists of 271.5m birds.

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