Why there will be no more 'free range' eggs after St Patrick’s day
The Department of Agriculture has confirmed that processors, producers and retailers in the egg and poultry sector will no longer be able to use the free range label after March 17.
The news comes after the Department introduced regulations requiring flock keepers to confine their poultry in a secure building, which wild birds or other animals do not have access to.
Ireland had 12 incidences of bird flu since December as wild birds migrated. Today's announcement means that free range eggs will no longer be available in shops as under EU regulations eggs and poultry meat can marketed as 'free range' for the duration of the restriction but not for more than 12 weeks.
In Ireland's case, the 12-week period expires on March 17.
What’s the current bird flu situation?
In Ireland we have confirmed 12 wild birds positive for H5N8 in 10 locations (events) in 6 counties since the end of December. There have been no outbreaks in domestic poultry.
What is bird flu?
Avian influenza (AI) is a highly contagious viral disease affecting the respiratory, digestive and/or nervous system of several species of domestic poultry, as well as pet birds and wild birds. It is caused by Type A Influenza Virus. Avian influenza is also known as “Bird Flu”.