Christmas dinner at threat as skyrocketing prices could force turkey fans to ‘go vegan’

Brits have been warned that they may be forced to go vegan this Christmas as the price of a turkey is set to sky rocket, according to an expert.

The cost of a traditional festive turkey this year may come to a shock for shoppers.

New governmental measures came into force yesterday (Monday November 7) to keep all poultry and captive birds indoors in England – in order to prevent the spread of bird flu.

This means that farmers and smallholders must keep their birds inside, regardless of the type of bird or numbers kept in order to protect their flock and prevent the risk of future outbreaks.

And due to the rise of bird flu since October last year, thousands of birds have been killed so far – including traditional Christmas turkeys.

And the disease has also been found in more than 200 dead wild birds since the start of October this year.

This, food experts claim, has come at the worst time for the meat industry, with worries that this could spark fights in the shopping isles at the busiest time of the year for the festive favourite.

Speaking about the issues that the lack of turkey’s poses, chef and food expert Amanda Bootes told the Daily Star : “Turkey prices could now force people to seek other Christmas dinner alternatives.

“Many people could potentially go vegan this year as it is a much cheaper option now that turkey prices have skyrocketed.”

And speaking to Derbyshire Live, butcher Jack Bradley, a director of Cleaver Meats, added that the lack of birds will mean that supermarkets will be forced to up their prices.

He said: “The outbreak will force the prices up because they’re having to cull all the birds.

“It’s one of those things that no one can do anything about.

“People will have to accept that the price is going to be more this year and that’s it.”

He added: “Until the time gets nearer to Christmas it is unclear exactly by how much the price for certain poultry will go up, but it’s currently rising every week.”

Mr Bradley added that it is becoming impossible to get Turkey stock in – just seven weeks away from Christmas.

The price of turkey is also impacted by the cost rising prices of grain.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has seen the world’s grain supply almost half as Russia has blocked exports from the country – and what little has been allowed out has gone to Putin’s allies, never to be seen again.

Dr Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer, said: “We are seeing a growing number of bird flu cases on commercial farms and in backyard birds across the country driven by high levels of disease within wild birds.

“Unfortunately, we expect the number of cases to continue to rise over the coming months as migratory birds return to the UK, bringing with them further risk of disease that can spread into our kept flocks.”

Several supermarkets announced larger vegan Christmas ranges this year than ever before, and budget chain Aldi has even thrown a cheap “vegan turkey roast” into the mix.