Avian influenza and 'free range' status – what does the law say?

First published: 02 November 2022

An image of free range eggs

Following the announcement of nationwide and regional AIPZs (Avian Influenza Protection Zone) we take a look at the requirements of AIPZs, how new housing measures impact on 'free range' marketing, and what the grace period around this entails.

Following further confirmed AI outbreaks over the past few weeks, Defra announced that a new AIPZ declaration containing housing measures will be introduced for all areas of England from 00:01 on Monday, 7 November 2022. The housing measures in force across Norfolk, Suffolk and parts of Essex will be extended to all areas of England and these will be additional to the biosecurity measures already in place across England.

Separate AIPZs were put in place on 17 October 2022 for England and Wales, requiring all bird keepers (including keepers of pet birds) to comply with a range of biosecurity measures.

How do the AIPZs affect the free range status of eggs and poultry meat?

We've put together a briefing for members giving an overview of the different housing and biosecurity AIPZs in place in England and Wales and how housing measures impact upon the free range status of eggs and poultry meat.

This briefing covers:

  • Overview of the housing and biosecurity measures
  • Regulations on free range eggs and poultry meat
  • Details on Defra's 12 or 16 week 'grace periods'  
  • Impact on new flocks introduced during this period

Download: NFU member briefing | AI 2022: Housing and biosecurity measures and the marketing of 'free range' poultry meat and eggs


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