Farmers concerned as bird-flu measures may result in loss of "free range" certification

Farmers are concerned that vital efforts to keep their poultry safe from bird flu may also ruin their business.

The EU allows a 12-week period for products to continue to be marketed as "free range" while kept indoors - but the bird-flu risk has not eased and our 12-week period comes to an end on March 17.

A member of the Irish Farmers' Association is travelling to Brussels later this week to try and find out what happens next.

Minister for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, Andrew Doyle, says that is difficult to predict.

"It is more than a month away yet, so we remain hopeful that this can pass over," he said.

He said: "We have to remain vigilant and make sure it doesn't infect the commercial indigenous flocks."

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