Since the 2006 ban the number of vultures dying from the drug diclofenac in India has reduced by more than a third a study carried out between 2005 and 2009 has found.
The vulture-toxic veterinary drug was banned from use in India in 2006, and since then the number of livestock carcasses found containing the drug has halved. However, experts say that six percent of carcasses are still contaminated with diclofenac, despite its use to treat livestock now being illegal.
Vulture deaths have not completely stopped because the drug is still licensed for human use and Indian pharmaceutical companies are manufacturing it in vials large enough to treat livestock. Therefore some veterinary surgeons and livestock owners continue to choose diclofenac over the vulture-safe alternative, meloxicam.