Diclofenac Ban Helps Vulture Populations

A Vulture Feeding on a Cattle Carcass
Gobind Sagar Bhardwaj

The diclofenac ban of 2006 by the Govt. of India has helped arrest the decline in the population of vultures. This was the conclusion of a study by scientists representing the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB), the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and the Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge. The study was presented to a gathering of scientists at the International Conference on Indian Ornithology, held at the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), in Anaikatty near Coimbatore.

According to the study, between 2006 and 2008, the proportion of cattle carcasses in India containing diclofenac had fallen by over 40%. Also, the concentration of diclofenac in the contaminated animals had also decreased.

However, the study warned that diclofenac was still being sold and used illegally. In some cases, large doses of human formulations are used on cattle by farmers. The scientists called for a complete elimination of diclofenac from vulture food to ensure future recovery of vultures.

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