Spain approves use of drug beneficial to mammals - that will kill any vulture that feeds on a carcass containing traces of it
Sunday 20 April 2014
Bureaucratic ignorance has allowed a drug that almost wiped out India’s vultures to be sanctioned for use in Europe – raising fears that authorities will have to spend vast sums collecting and incinerating animal carcasses which the birds usually dispose of.
Despite their unappealing looks, vultures make a vital contribution to public health in southern Europe.
But Spain, which is home to about 100,000 vultures, has horrified conservationists and bird lovers by approving the use of diclophenac – a powerful anti-inflammatory drug used that is beneficial to mammals but will kill any vulture that feeds on a carcass containing traces of the drug.
Diclophenac can also be used legally in Italy, where it was first developed. The country also has a small population of wild vultures.