Sunday 2 April 2023

Two new foci of avian influenza detected in Costa Rica

Poultry production farms in Costa Rica have not presented cases of avian influenza, however, some producers are beginning to see effects on their sales abroad

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01 April 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – Two foci of avian influenza were confirmed last Thursday by the authorities of the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal (Senasa) – National Animal Health Service.

Poultry production farms in Costa Rica have not presented cases of avian influenza, however, some producers are beginning to see effects on their sales abroad

The outbreaks are at a backyard bird farm located in Parrita, in the province of Puntarenas with some 130 animals, and wild birds, in Playa Cabuya, Puntarenas, and in Barra del Colorado, Limón.

Detection was achieved through surveillance carried out by Senasa and by reporting mortality in chickens and wild birds.

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The samples taken were sent to the National Laboratory of Veterinary Services, where it was confirmed that it is Avian Influenza type A, subtype H5.

The first confirmed cases in the country were four Brown Pelicans, found in Playa Cocles, in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Limón on January 23.

As a result of the findings, a ban on poultry fairs and exhibitions was established, since these may represent a way of spreading the disease, which would have a severe impact on poultry production.

“The transmission of avian influenza from birds to people occurs mainly through direct or indirect contact with sick birds. Regarding the sanitary safety of food, there is no evidence of transmission of the disease due to the consumption of poultry products such as: chicken meat, turkey, eggs and by-products,” said Alexis Sandí, Head of Senasa’s Epidemiology Department.

This has caused poultry farmers in Costa Rica to affirm that Nicaragua closed transit to Costa Rican poultry products.

La Nacion reports that the closure was confirmed by William Cardoza, executive director of the National Chamber of Poultry Farmers (Canavi), who added that the decision mainly affects producers who export to the rest of Central America, the main markets being Nicaragua and Honduras.

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According to Cardoza, what would be expected in view of said border closures would be for exporters to keep their merchandise in the country, and in parallel to reduce imports from the United States. This would allow for maintaining stability between supply and demand.

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