Are free-range eggs linked with bird flu?

Health news

If you’re a fan of eggs on toast, you should read on.

Retailers across the country could see two million fewer free range eggs per day from March 1, once a government housing order is lifted on February 28.

The shortage is largely down to bird flu fears. The government is lifting housing restrictions for farmers in areas it believes are at a higher risk of the disease spreading.

Around 75 per cent of farms are deemed low risk, however farmers in higher risk parts of the country could be downgraded to barn or colony eggs – i.e. not free range. 

But there are measures they can take to prevent this. Some farmers will see their production methods changed which can help stop the disease spreading, but it unfortunately means some retailers might see, for a short time at least, fewer eggs come into stock. Higher risk areas must also be covered with netting and ensure that their hens are supervised.

The poultry industry says it will put pressure on the price of both barn and colony egg prices as free range eggs are cascaded down into their categories, Farming UK has warned.

Egg packers apparently fear they’ll have to pay free range prices for ‘colony’ eggs.

“To allow the marketing of eggs as free range, a producer now faces a race against time to put in place previously unthinkable measures to secure the marketing status of their product,” Farming UK

It’s farmers from these that have condemned the government plans, as 25 per cent of all free range eggs come from these areas.

All this affects England primarily, as Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland all have slightly different farming practices.

However, the issues impact all UK farmers in some way. If you or someone you know has experienced some impact from this reach out to us below.


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