Supermarket shelves across the UK are no longer selling free range eggs amid the “largest ever outbreak” of bird flu due to wide measures introduced to tackle the avian flu.
In late November 2021 the UK imposed a wide range of measures to tackle bird flu which resulted in hens being kept inside large barns for many months for commercial flocks.
On Monday the grace period ended after 16 weeks after the government allowed farmers to keep the “free range status” for eggs as to protect human and animal health the birds were placed into barns.
Eggs now sold in the UK are to be labelled “barn eggs” and no longer free range, this will remain until the Environment Department (Defra) lift the current health and safety measures.
A Defra spokesperson said, “We are experiencing our largest ever outbreak of avian flu and housing measures remain in force to protect poultry and other birds from this highly infectious and unpleasant disease.
“We continue to provide support for the poultry sector throughout this challenging time.
“The 16-week grace period we allowed for free range eggs has now been exceeded, and eggs must now be marketed as ‘barn eggs.’
“We have worked closely with the sector and retailers to implement these changes as smoothly as possible.”