No free range with in bird flu around
Attempts to contain the bird flu outbreaks across Europe have led to many flocks being kept indoors, meaning that the free-range status can no longer be applied to meat or eggs produced this way.
Several egg organisations in the EU have asked the European Commission to urgently examine current rules on how long poultry flocks might be kept inside before losing free-range status.
While keeping flocks indoors to contain the spread of the H5N8 bird flu strain has proven to be a successful strategy, the loss of free-range status has consequences for egg producers.
Present rules require eggs from laying flocks kept indoors for more than twelve weeks to be downgraded from freerange to barn. With many parts of the EU reaching this threshold now, there is a real possibility that very few freerange eggs will be available to EU consumers.¡