Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Hens locked up in UK

 Free-range eggs could soon start disappearing from supermarket shelves in the UK because of restrictions imposed last November to stop the spread of avian influenzaFarmers say the move could ruin them.

Bird flu restrictions were strengthened on November 29, when a housing order was brought in. Since then, farmers have been required to keep their birds indoors.

If the housing order remains in place after March 21, it will mean birds have been kept inside for more than 16 weeks, preventing their eggs from being sold as free-range.

Unless restrictions are lifted, free range egg producers will need to add stickers to their packaging explaining why the eggs are now classed as barn eggs.

Jane Howorth from the British Hen Welfare Trust said: "Although it might seem a little contrary to be buying a free-range egg from a hen that hasn't been free-ranging, it's all the more important that we do still support those British free-range farmers that have invested in that system. It's the best welfare for the birds. Keep buying those eggs because soon, in a few weeks' time, hopefully the migration season will have gone and it will all be back outside again, hens having a nice time scratching around," she added. If such restrictions were imposed here, genuine free-range producers would be decimated but there would be little impact on eggs in supermarkets because all eggs sold there are from intensive farms, even those labelled 'free-range'.

1 comment:

freeranger said...

Free-range eggs will disappear from UK supermarkets on Monday – because Britain's hens have spent the last four months cooped up. Chickens have been in bird flu lockdown since November, meaning eggs previously classed as free-range must now be labelled 'barn'. If eggs in this country were labelled truthfully the so-called freerange eggs in supermarkets would carry the ‘barn’ identity.