NEW: Free Range Eggs
Free-range eggs return to shelves as poultry restrictions to combat avian flu are lifted so birds will have access to outside areas again.
Yesterday's lifting of bird flu restrictions across most of the UK may have brought some relief from the poultry sector and captive bird owners. However, experts warn that the H5N1 virus is still present, and remains a danger to wild birds. While the requirement to keep poultry and captive birds indoors has been lifted, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is cautious about the potential risks to breeding colonies, particularly after last year's devastating outbreak. The government has acknowledged the significance of the threat, so there is some trepidation from farmers given that the virus is still so prevalent in wild birds.
The lifting of restrictions on free-range eggs has come as a welcome relief for animal welfare activists and consumers alike. It means that hens can once again enjoy the freedom of accessing outdoor areas, which has been long deemed essential for their physical and psychological well-being. The spike in free-range egg prices over the past year has been largely attributed to bird flu and farmers quitting due to low retail prices. However, prices are not expected to drop following the lifting of resctrictions.