Free range poultry under threat due to housing order

The EU allows a 12 week period for products to continue to be marketed as 'free range'

Free range poultry under threat due to housing order

European Union ban un-enriched cages for battery hens| Image : RollingNews.ie

Farmers that have free range poultry are currently under threat due to the recent housing order. 

Poultry farmers have been following a 'housing order' keeping their birds indoors to avoid the risk of bird flu following an outbreak in the UK late last year.

But the threat is persisting with the virus now detected in a swan in Tipperary and a heron in Cork - the first time it's been confirmed in a resident species here.

It means an order which makes poultry owners keep their birds indoors - will remain in place - and that presents a dilemma if they're selling free-range poultry products.

The EU allows a 12 week period for products to continue to be marketed as 'free range' while kept indoors and the Departure of Agriculture has confirmed that our 12-week period comes to an end on March 17th.

The IFA's National Poultry Chairman, Nigel Reneghan says this puts Irish farmers in a very difficult position.