The Indian Ministry of Health have put in force a ban on multi-dose vials of human formulations of diclofenac, a drug which is responsible for the death of tens of millions of Asia’s vultures, Birdlife International have reported.
The painkiller was banned from veterinary use in India in 2006 because of its lethal effects on vultures that feed on the carcasses of treated cattle and buffaloes, but human formulations of the drug have been illegally used to treat animals since then. The ban sees diclofenac production now restricted to human formulations in a single 3ml dose.
“Despite diclofenac being illegal for veterinary use since 2006, human formulations have been made readily available in large vials by irresponsible drug companies, making it cheap and easy to use illegally to treat cattle and buffalo,” says Chris Bowden, RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and SAVE vulture programme manager.
“This ban means that the large vials can no longer be manufactured and sold, making it more difficult to use illegally for animals and thereby removing it from the primary source of food for Asia’s vultures. This is a huge step closer to bringing vultures back from the brink of extinction.”
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As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.