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Veterinary drug could cause major drop in vulture numbers in Spain, new study confirms

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Reports www.birdlife.org

 

According to a new study, published in the Journal of Applied Ecology on Monday and analysing the potential effects of the use of veterinary diclofenac in Spain, the approval in that country of the use of these two new veterinary drugs containing diclofenac – Diclovet and Dolofenac – could jeopardise the viability of Europe’s most important breeding population of Griffon Vultures.

 

To read the full article click here.

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Utterly shameful that these drugs continue to be approved for use in livestock given that we have known for years that they are poisoning vultures. Perhaps the problem won't be so severe in Spain though ad hopefully they have a better approach to disposal of their dead livestock - hope they don't leave it out to rot as in India etc. ???

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I believe the only European countries that have approved the veterinary use of Diclofenac (the API in Diclovet and Dolofenac) are Italy & Spain and there has been pressure to withdraw this approval for many years. Unfortunately the wheels of European bureaucracy move very slowly so it's still perfectly legal to manufacture sell & administer Diclofenac for veterinary use in those 2 countries. In northern Europe carcasses from dead animals tend to be found quite quickly but in areas where cattle, sheep and pigs are free range, birds of prey (eagles as well as vultures) can find them long before the farmer does.

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"Spain is home to more than 95% of the European breeding population of the Griffon Vulture"

 

Could consumers put some pressure on the cattle industry, perhaps demanding certification that such dangerous drugs are not used?

 

"NSAIDs [non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs] are important medicines for animal welfare, but alternative NSAIDs, for example meloxicam, are available as generic and affordable preparations for use in livestock. These are safe for vultures and have replaced diclofenac in India,"

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Unbelievable that they allow the sale of those drugs for veterinary use. There are equally effective and equally priced alternatives on the market already who don't have a dramatic effect like this on the vulture populations.

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India is the biggest example for this issue.. but even if it is banned in india still the numbers are not increasing that much.

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