From Monday 21st March, Free-range eggs will no longer be available across all retailers and eggs sold in retail stores will have to carry a new sticker or label stating they are in fact “barn eggs”, the name given to eggs produced by hens permanently housed indoors.
Birds have not been allowed outdoors since November after the UK was hit by what government officials have said is the “largest ever outbreak of avian flu” this winter, with more than 80 reported outbreaks in England.
The rules apply to all birds, whether produced by one hen in a garden or a large-scale poultry business.
Farmers had hoped the government would lift the housing order next week, but after new avian flu outbreaks in the past week, officials have decide to keep the order in place.
As a result, birds reared for meat and eggs have been ordered by the UK government to be kept indoors since November to reduce the risk of outbreaks. The length of time they have been kept indoors means their eggs can now no longer be labelled free-range.