The government’s order to keep hens in barns to protect them from a deadly outbreak of bird flu means free-range egg supplies are about to run out, consumers have been warned
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Shoppers who prefer to buy free-range eggs will have trouble finding eggs starting today, all because of a pandemic.
Not Covid, but bird flu – a deadly disease that affects birds and is commonly known as bird flu.
An outbreak of bird flu last year meant chickens were not allowed outside by government order.
Instead they were kept in barns to prevent them from getting the disease, The Guardian reports.
The scheme is ongoing and as a result the UK has reached the point where the eggs laid by these birds can no longer be labeled as ‘free range’.
Instead, they are labeled as “Barn Eggs”.
A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs told The Guardian: “The 16 week grace period we allowed for free range eggs has now passed and eggs must now be marketed as ‘barn eggs’.
“We have worked closely with the industry and retailers to implement these changes as smoothly as possible.”
The British Retail Consortium said supermarkets would put up signs to explain the changes to shoppers and that eggs would be ‘free range’ again once the government allows it.
The bird flu outbreak has seen nearly 100 cases reported across the UK.
In February, three swans and several geese were found dead nearby University of Oxford .
The potential case of the disease was identified by a veterinarian at Iffley Lock in Oxford.
Also last month, several seagulls found dead on a Cornwall beach tested positive for bird flu.
The bird flu outbreak has even caught the Queen’s attention after 26 of her swans were culled in January.
As every Briton knows, in the UK swans are the property of the monarch.
The Queen technically owns all unmarked mute swans in England and Wales in a tradition dating back to the 12th century where their meat was prized for royal feasts and banquets.
Her official title is Seigneur of the Swans, but she now only exercises her rights over the swans on an 80-mile stretch of the River Thames from Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey to Abingdon, Oxon.
But she considers the swans her flock on the 5-mile route that winds its way from Boveney Lock on the outskirts of Windsor, around the land of the Crown Estate and Castle to Old Windsor.
Earlier this year, veterinarians had to kill several of the Queen’s swans on the River Thames near Windsor to stem the spread of bird flu.
The 32 deaths among the 150 swans owned by the Queen along a five-mile stretch that flows around the royal estate have left Her Majesty “sad” and many more are at risk.
The UK Health Authority has stated that avian influenza is primarily a bird disease and the risk to public health is very low.
Do not touch or pick up dead or visibly sick birds that you find.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/shoppers-wont-able-buy-free-26516611 Shoppers will no longer be able to buy free range eggs in supermarkets from today