Bird flu: Free range eggs return as clampdowns eased

Free-range eggs will return to shelves within days as bird flu restrictions ease across most of the UK on Tuesday.

The move has been welcomed on animal welfare grounds but experts say the H5N1 virus is still circulating, posing an ongoing risk to wild birds.

The RSPB fears a repeat of last year’s “catastrophic” toll on breeding colonies during the world’s largest ever bird flu outbreak.

The government said wild birds faced ” a significant threat” from the virus.

The lifting of restrictions means eggs laid by hens with access to outdoor areas can be marketed as “free-range” again.

“This is good news for birds that have been kept inside over the winter months – and for consumers that want to be able to buy free range eggs,” said Robert Gooch CEO of the British Free-Range Egg Producers Association.

“But some farmers are feeling a sense of trepidation given bird flu is still around in wild birds.”

Free-range egg prices have risen over the past 12 months due to egg shortages driven…

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