If the poultry sector was looking for more evidence that the public isn't put off chicken by bird flu outbreaks, it was to be found at a Tesco Metro in Norwich last week.

The store - in the same county as two farms where the low pathogenic H7N3 strain of avian flu was found - was the scene of a protest by animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Dressed in biohazard suits and holding barrier tape outside the store, four activists handed out leaflets warning shoppers that they risked catching bird flu by eating poultry meat. However, in spite of their efforts, store bosses said they had experienced no drop in sales - and received no adverse comments from shoppers.

Duty manager Jamie McDonald said: "We haven't noticed any major change in sales since their visit. And sales of poultry meat were fairly good last week."

PETA campaign co-ordinator Anita Singh said the group's hour-long protest was "incredibly well received".

The campaigners handed out hundreds of vegetarian starter kits containing information about nutrition and factory farming to members of the public, she said.