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Eggs lose free range labels after bird flu in UK

Staff Writer |
Millions of UK eggs are to temporarily lose their free range status after farmers were forced to keep hens in barns to limit the spread of bird flu.

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An official avian influenza prevention zone was declared on December 6, forcing owners to keep poultry and captive birds indoors or keep them apart from wild birds.

This has now ended, but some farms in higher risk areas have been advised to keep the strictest controls in place.

Under EU laws, eggs from birds which have been housed for more than 12 weeks cannot be marketed as free range.

All free range eggs will now be sold in packs marked with stickers highlighting the conditions they are being kept in.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has advised it is adopting a more targeted approach, with the majority of producers allowed to let their birds outside if they observe strict disease prevention measures.

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