Consumers have been warned that government orders to keep chickens in barns are threatening to end the supply of free-range eggs.
Shoppers who want to buy free-range eggs may have difficulty finding any today. This is due to a pandemic.
It’s not covid, but avian influenza – a deadly virus that affects birds and is also known as bird flu.
A rash of avian influenza in the United States forced chickens to be kept indoors.
They were instead kept in barns to prevent the spread of the disease. The Guardian reports.
This rule remains in effect, and the UK has now made it impossible for eggs laid by these birds to be labeled as ‘free-range’.
Instead, they’ll be badged as “barn eggs”.
A spokesperson 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 been exceeded, and eggs must now be marketed as ‘barn eggs’.
“We have worked closely with the sector and retailers to implement these changes as smoothly as possible.”
The British Retail Consortium said supermarkets would be putting up signs to explain the changes to shoppers, and that eggs would go back to being ‘free-range’ as soon as the government allows.
The bird flu outbreak has been reported across the UK in almost 100 cases.
In February three swans and a number of geese were found dead near Oxford University .
The potential case of the disease was identified by a vet at Iffley Lock, in Oxford.
Last month, bird flu was also confirmed in a number seagulls discovered dead on a Cornish coast.
After 26 of her swans were killed in January, the bird flu epidemic has caught the attention even of the Queen.
Every Brit knows that swans in the UK belong to the monarch.
Legally, the Queen owns all unmarked mute Swans in England and Wales. This tradition dates back to 12th Century England where their meat was highly prized at royal feasts.
Seigneur of Swans is her official title, but she has now limited her rights to the Swans along an 80-mile stretch the River Thames that runs from Sunbury-on-Thames (Surrey) to Abingdon (Oxon).
She still considers the swans that run along the 5 miles from Boveney Lock to the outskirts Windsor, around the Crown Estate land, and the Castle To Old Windsor, her flock.
In order to stop bird flu spreading, veterinarians had to remove several Queen’s swans from the Thames at Windsor.
Her Majesty has been left with 32 deaths from the 150-strong swans who belong to her on a five-mile stretch of water that runs around the royal estate. “saddened”Many more are at risk.
The UK Health Security Agency has said that avian influenza is primarily a disease of birds and the risk to the general public’s health is very low.
Don’t touch or pick up dead or seriously ill birds.