Costa Rica is in the final stages of becoming certified to export chicken to the United States – Tico chicken farmers will likely be able to access the U.S. market in September, according to the daily La Nación.
In addition to the certification, ratification of the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the United States (CAFTA) is necessary for Costa Rica to export chicken to the United States, which has the strictest sanitary requirements in the world.
Meanwhile, Honduras last month banned Costa Rican chicken imports after hundreds of animals in the Caribbean province of Limón were found to be carrying laryngotracheitis, a respiratory disease that affects birds but cannot be transmitted to humans, the daily reported.
Honduras has said it will not import Costa Rican chickens until Central American health authorities inspect sanitary conditions at Tico chicken farms and factories.
Foreign Trade Minister Marco Vinicio Ruiz responded by remarking that Honduras is overreacting because of fears of the deadly avian flu. Costa Rica has strict biosecurity measures in place and is completely free of avian flu, he said.