Concerns of a nationwide egg shortage have been raised after some supermarkets were pictured with empty shelves.

Warning signs have been put up in stores including Tesco and Sainsbury’s about short supplies.

The shortages are believed to be at least partially related to the recent outbreak of avian flu across the UK.

The UK has been facing its largest outbreak of bird flu with more than 200 cases confirmed on commercial premises, smallholdings and in pet birds since October last year.

The Government said everyone must keep their birds inside regardless of the type of bird or numbers kept.

They are also being urged to follow other biosecurity measures mandated by the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) at all times to protect their flock and prevent the risk of future outbreaks.

These include cleansing and disinfecting footwear and clothing before and after contact with birds, reducing the movement of people on to premises and storing bedding properly so it does not get contaminated by wild birds.

The Government has warned owners that avian influenza could kill house birds if action is not taken.

The new measures are being introduced after the disease was confirmed at over 90 premises and has been found in more than 200 dead wild birds since the start of October.

The UK Health Security Agency continues to advise that the risk to public health from the virus is very low.

The Food Standards Agency advice that avian influenzas pose a very low food safety risk for UK consumers also remains unchanged.

Ben Pike, from the British Free Range Egg Producers Association, said bird flu was a ‘contributing factor’ in egg farmers struggling, but also told the BBC that pressure from prices was ‘probably a greater factor at the moment’.

While Defra spokesman told “We understand the difficulties that rising costs combined with the bird flu outbreak are causing for farmers and we are working with industry to monitor the egg market.

“The laying hen population is approximately 38 million so any impact on overall supply would likely be minimal.”