Swiss free-range eggs produced by indoor hens due to bird flu fears

Swiss free-range eggs produced by indoor hens due to bird flu fears

Since November 2022, in order to minimise the risk of spreading bird flu, the Swiss government has required most chickens to be kept inside so that they do not come into contact with infected wild birds and risk placing stress on the Swiss healthcare system by spreading the illness to humans. As a consequence, a new report by SRF has found that many eggs branded as "free-range in Switzerland" are produced by chickens that are not free to roam. 

Swiss egg producers have been quick to defend the labelling

According to SRF, poultry producers have been quick to defend the "free-range" labelling. The managing director of IG Retail - a political group representing the interests of top Swiss supermarkets like Coop, Migros and Denner - Maja Freiermuth, told the Swiss broadcaster: "The differences in production compared to floor husbandry, such as the larger areas or access to covered conservatories, have not changed during this exceptional situation."

Organic products will also retain their label. That’s because, according to Biosuisse spokesperson David Hermann, companies still need to follow organic food production processes, such as feeding hens with organic feed. “Organic producers continue to have higher costs, for example for organic feed”, Hermann told SRF

Thumb image credit: / Sorbis

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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