18 August 2018 | Online since 2003

28 February 2017

AI update 27 February 2017

Dear Free Ranger

Defra has published a new AI Prevention Zone (AIPZ) Declaration which applies from tomorrow – 28 February. This is the same day as the old AIPZ finishes. The full Defra document, complete with a Checklist at Annex 6 which you must complete can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/594487/ai-prevention-zone-rules-from-28_february-2017.pdf

As you will have gathered from previous updates, England will be split into Higher Risk Areas (HRAs), where housing or total range netting will be required, and the rest of England, where ranging will be permitted but ONLY after a documented risk assessment has taken place so as to reduce the risk of transmission of HPAI from wild birds.
Defra check list Summary for letting hens out (out of HRAs or in a netted range within HRAs)

• Decontaminate outside areas
• Actively discourage wild birds from landing on the range area

• Net or cover ponds and drain waterlogged areas of the range
• Remove any feeders and water stations from the range

• Regularly inspect your housing/netted run/cages for signs of wild bird or rodent access and prevent access by them
• If you keep a variety of bird types, keep domestic waterfowl (ducks, geese etc.) and poultry separate
• Use dedicated footwear when accessing bird areas and install boot dips with a suitable disinfectant at entrances to bird areas

• Reduce movements of people, vehicles or equipment into or out of bird areas and prevent unnecessary access
• Cleanse and disinfect equipment and vehicles prior to entry onto or exit from premise
• Routinely cleanse and disinfect equipment used in bird areas

There are different arrangements for Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland. As we know Scotland and Wales have not defined HRAs and N Ireland’s 12 week housing order does not deadline until 16 March so they have yet to declare their plans.
Visit the appropriate website below for further detail.

Labelling and stamping
Please see below an over-simplistic flow chart which sets out our understanding of the labelling practices from tomorrow onwards. The interpretation of the labelling and stamping requirements over the next two months may well be challenged but, in the meantime, we support the Lion scheme in over-stickering all free range eggs as being ‘temporarily housed’ so as to provide a unified approach for both consumers and producers until the end of April.

With regard to egg stamping, Lion members should continue to use their current stamp. If your hens are housed in an HRA, and the on-farm stamp is challenged by the EMI, please advise the EMI that you are looking to your packer to mark with No 2 at the packing station.
We are in unchartered waters with regard to housing, labelling and marketing of free range eggs. I would ask all members to be patient and refrain from discussing the current uncertainties with the media so that as little damage as possible is done to the egg market for the benefit of all members.
BFREPA members who are marketing their own eggs can download artwork for box stickers and information leaflets at www.bfrepa.co.uk Log into the Members area and use the link http://www.bfrepa.co.uk/Page/High-Risk-Zone-Barn-Egg-Labelling_1077.html or click on ‘Information & Forms’ in the Dashboard.

Kind regards
Robert Gooch, CEO
British Free Range Egg Producers Association
Tel 07771 887311


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