The avian flu outbreak is not the only thing to blame for the current egg shortage, The FT reports

Remember lockdowns? When a highly infectious virus forced us indoors for months on end? Spare a thought — as you devour your scrambled eggs this weekend — for the chickens of England, cooped up and locked down by order of Defra, the poultry sector’s answer to Chris Whitty.

The environment and farming department imposed mandatory housing for all poultry and domesticated birds in England earlier this month to limit the worst outbreak of avian flu on record.

The rampant epidemic has led to the death — mainly through culling — of 97mn birds globally, and 3.8mn in the UK, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

While some consumers have been swift to fret about what to serve instead of turkey this Christmas, the real debate this week has been the threat to our morning omelettes.

This is perhaps unsurprising for a nation proud to go to work on an egg and now grappling with bigger questions about the future of free-range.

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