Asda's £2 fresh chicken could result in more disease outbreaks if farmers cut corners to save on production costs, an NFU official warned. Price pressure can push producers into neglecting vaccinations, said Charles Bourns, chairman of the NFU's poultry committee. Producer hopes of a fairer price for British chicken, as feed costs escalate and premiumisation boosts other sectors, have been dealt a blow by the discounting. Asda is offering a British fresh whole 1.55kg chicken for £2, the equivalent of £1.29/kg, while Tesco has responded by reducing the price of its whole medium frozen chicken (1.4-1.7kg bird) to £1.92 or £1.28/kg. "How can you [profitably] produce chickens to meet that price?" said British Poultry Council executive officer Jeremy Blackburn. Bourns said price cuts might initially benefit the premium end of the market, driving customers away from budget birds towards free-range options. But he warned: "People may think it must be cheap and nasty, and go without if they can't get free-range." "I've even heard of people buying them to feed their pet because they are cheaper than dog and cat food."