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Avian Influenza – Free Range Egg Status

Who is effected:

At the start of February to prevent the spread of Avian Influenza (Avian Flu) across the UK’s bird population new legislation was enforced to ensure that all egg & poultry farmers across the UK move all their birds indoors on a temporary basis. The requirements however have since changed to only cover high risk areas across England. Wales and Scotland have been lifted from this legislation due to being ‘low-risk’ areas.

What does this mean:

Due to this, egg & poultry products will be modified to show that for the time being their usual free range status will be temporarily removed and replaced. This may also reflect on products that feature free range eggs as an ingredient as these products will also have the new temporary label. Chicken and Turkey are also under this new legislation so will also be housed in barns to protect against Avian Flu.

Because of these factors, it has come into question on the welfare of said birds in the UK. However, all birds will be kept in barns where they can roam freely and all welfare standards are being met to meet the strict government guidelines.

When will this change:

When there is no longer a threat to the birds across the UK the legislation will be lifted; meaning the temporary labelling of eggs / poultry will return to normal free range status. As mentioned England is the only country left under this legislation. Expect menu / recipe changes to be over-labelled until this is lifted.