News 1396 views update:Mar 9, 2016

Poultry dispute continues in Dominican Republic

Poultry farmers in the Dominican Republic are frantically trying to sell off a half-million hens locally as their main market, Haiti no longer wants them.

The month-old “chicken war” between Haiti and the Dominican Republic began after Haiti falsely accused the Dominican Republic of a bird flu outbreak and re-enforced a ban on chicken and egg imports.

“There is no bird flu, that was a creation,” said Serafín Bautista, whose company Agropecuaria Wilse owns 1.2 million egg-laying hens. “There are interests involved; political interests, economic interests, organized crime. It’s all involved. … The ones who are suffering, unfortunately, are the Haitian people.”

The row involves much more than poultry, writes The Miami Herald. At its core is a trade imbalance between the two countries that’s heavily tilted in favor of the Dominican Republic, whose influence and products have been rising in Haiti since the devastating Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake made Haiti a cash cow for Dominican businesses.

Dominican commentators have accused Haiti of being “ungrateful,” noting that they were the first to respond after the quake. And President Danilo Medina has accused Haiti of acting to promote business interests seeking a cut of the lucrative market that formally sells about 22 million eggs and another 22 million pounds of chicken parts a month to Haiti.

World Poultry

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