The Veterinary and Livestock Services Division (Veterinary Authority) of the Ministry of Agriculture has said that there is no shortage of local chicken on the island.
Veterinary Officer Dr. Sharmine Melville-Edwin told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) today that she is not aware that there is any shortages of local chicken here.
However, poultry importers here have argued that there is a shortage, stating that most supermarkets do not have local whole chicken and mixed parts.
These importers said this is proof that suppliers here do not deserve a market quota increase, something that the Ministry of Agriculture said it is seriously looking to introduce.
Local suppliers have said that the process of rearing chickens is a lengthy one and if there is a shortage indeed, then this could be the main reason for it.
There is usually heavy demand for local poultry from restaurants and hotels. This demand is also based on the number of tourists visiting the island.
Saint Lucia has placed a temporary ban on the importation of several poultry products originating from the North American states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and California.
The ban is currently in place for the importation of all live birds, hatching eggs, and on fresh, frozen and chilled poultry meat and products, including table eggs.
This follows the confirmation of an outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) H5N8 and H5N2 in backyard and commercial poultry farms in the United States.
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica and Saint Kitts and Nevis have taken similar measures to ban poultry products from the designated states in the US.