Balmoral Show clips the wings of its poultry section over bird flu
Balmoral Show, one of the country's largest agricultural shows, has said it is cancelling its poultry section this year.
It comes amid ongoing concerns over bird flu and regulations set down by the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland and in the Republic.
Rhonda Geary, Operations Director with the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS), which runs the show, said with the continued suspension of bird gatherings in Northern Ireland due to Avian Influenza and following consultation with the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, RUAS was cancelling the show.
Meanwhile, 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.