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NEW YORK: The cost for a turkey this Thanksgiving holiday is at a record high in the United States, as an ongoing bird flu outbreak wipes out supplies. 

An unexpected resurgence of avian flu sweeping across the country has killed millions of turkeys and hens this year. The prices of turkeys, the centrepiece of Thanksgiving meals, have risen more than 20 per cent compared to last year, according to some estimates.

High inflation and lingering supply chain issues are also making it harder for people to be thankful when it comes to paying for the annual feast this week.

The confluence of factors is eating into Thanksgiving budgets, and it is not just the cost of turkey that has gone up. 

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings will cost around 20 per cent more than last year. Of the items surveyed, only fresh cranberries have gone down in price.

“It’s not just about turkeys this year, it’s not even about disease only this year. It’s about the world that we live in,” said Mr Russ Whitman, senior vice president at data research firm Urner Barry.

“It’s about the hyperinflation of the food market. It’s about high feed costs, it’s about high labour costs, and it’s about high fuel.”