Hundreds of thousands of eggs are stuck on farms in East Yorkshire following Sunday’s outbreak of bird flu on a duck farm in the county.
The British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) confirmed the eggs had not been shipped but declined to comment on the potential losses to suppliers and retailers.
A 10km restriction zone preventing the movement of all poultry, products and waste was imposed by Defra on Monday after the outbreak was detected on a farm owned by duck processor Cherry Valley in the village of Nafferton.
The bird flu was eventually confirmed as the H5N8 strain, the same detected in Germany earlier this month and in outbreaks in The Netherlands.
The BEIC said it was “waiting for Defra’s lead” on whether the eggs could be released or would have to be destroyed.
It is understood that Defra, which completed a cull of 6,000 ducks at Nafferton on Wednesday, was considering issuing a special licence to allow the transport of the eggs outside the restriction zone.
Defra declined to comment, but confirmed about 15,000 eggs from the farm - which had been transferred to a hatchery in Lincolnshire before the outbreak - had been destroyed as a precaution.
“This action has been taken as part of our tried and tested procedures for dealing with avian flu outbreaks,” a Defra spokeswoman said.
Dutch officials announced a second outbreak on Thursday, leading to a cull of 43,000 hens and the imposition of a new 72-hour transport ban on all poultry products.