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Eggs temporarily lose free-range status in bird flu measures

28th Feb 17 9:14 am

What happened?

Millions of eggs in the UK will temporarily lose free-range status after bird flu measures meant hens had to spend weeks in barns.

Any poultry has had to stay inside barns due to governments orders, this was to prevent any spreading of the disease. Birds have been kept inside since December.

Under European Union rules, any birds which are housed for more than 12 weeks cannot be given the free-range status.

Farmers have stated that all the eggs will look, taste and cost the same even after the new temporary labelling.

The eggs pose no danger to anyone consuming the eggs, the disease can wipe out large flocks of birds.

Emergency measures are now being scaled back but some farmers have chosen to continue keeping their birds inside to protect them.

Labels on the egg cartons say “laid by hens temporarily housed in barns for their welfare”.

Mark Williams, chief executive of the British Egg Industry Council, said: “The need to change labelling of free-range egg packs after 12 weeks is an EU requirement,”

“However, these are all still free-range hens, but some are temporarily housed to protect them from bird flu.”

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