Millions of free range eggs lose their status

28 February 2017 by
Millions of free range eggs lose their status

Millions of UK eggs usually designated as free range will temporarily lose their status after hens spent weeks inside barns as part of emergency measures to prevent the spread of avian flu.

A government order has meant that poultry has had to be kept indoors since December to try and stop the virus from taking a hold.

That means that eggs from many of the birds will now lose their free range status because under European Union regulations, birds that have been housed for more than 12 weeks cannot be marketed as free range.

The order in England, Scotland and Wales to protect birds from avian flu came into force 12 weeks ago, according to the BBC. The emergency measures are now being scaled back but many farmers are still keeping their hens indoors for protection.

The eggs will still look, taste and cost the same according to farmers, and to avoid confusion, free range egg cartons have been labelled with a sticker stating: "laid by hens temporarily housed in barns for their welfare".

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