The use of dicofenac in animals again threatens vultures besides three new drugs — aeclofenac, ketoprofen and nimesulide
It has been over three decades since India’s vultures suffered a drastic decline in population due to consuming carcasses infected with the drug, diclofenac. Vulture populations still bear the scars of that decade. Here, Eurasian griffon vultures are seen in the Jorbeer Conservation Reserve in Bikaner, Rajasthan. Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE
India banned the use of diclofenac 16 years ago. It is now only permitted for human use. But diclofenac is being misused for cattle treatments. “Such treatments are usually prescribed by quacks,” says Vibhu Prakash, deputy director, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). Here, a Eurasian Griffon and a cinereous vulture are seen in Jorbeer in Rajasthan. Photo: Vikas Chodhary / CSE
Also, the rampant use of three non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) threatens to undo two decades of work by the Centre to arrest the dwindling vulture population in the wild. The three drugs — aeclofenac, ketoprofen and nimesulide — were introduced as alternatives to diclofenac. Here, a Himalayan Grifforn and cinereous vulture are seen in Jorbeer, Rajasthan. Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE
Pesticide poisoning also threatens vultures across the country. On March 17, 2022, Kamrup district in Assam reported 97 vulture deaths after they consumed two pesticide-smeared carcasses that had been kept by farmers to kill stray dogs. Here, a Himalayan Griffon, Egyptian vulture and Eurasian Griffon are seen in Jorbeer. Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE
The country’s vulture population crashed from over 40,000 in 2003 to 18,645 in 2015, according to the last vulture census conducted by intergovernmental body Bird Life International. Here, an Egyptian vulture is seen in Jorbeer. Photo: Vikas Choudhary / CSE
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