Soup's off over shortage

Chicken soup may be off tonight's menu because of a temporary shortage of hens in kosher butchers.

London Board for Shechita executive director David Rose attributed the shortage partly to a change in EU regulations concerning the care of egg-laying birds.

"Jewish suppliers are suffering more than others as it is difficult to get the hens. The supply of roasters is all right."

Stephen Grossman, managing director of kosher abattoir Lewco-Pak, reported that the number of hens it slaughtered per week had dropped from 1,500 to 1,000.

He pointed out that egg prices being at an all-time high had "led to farmers keeping the laying flocks for longer to obtain a better return". Normal service should be resumed in time for Pesach.

    Last updated: 5:37pm, March 1 2012