The EU takes a step forward to prevent vulture intoxication by diclofenac

There are at least 3 species of vultures to be seen in the Sierra Aracena, Spain. Griffon, Eygptian and Black. They have been threatened by lack of available carcasses. Conservation can be a complex problem.

Yalakom

Diclofenac is an analgesic, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that has been widely used to treat both humans and animals since it was first developed by Ciba-Geigy, now Novartis, in 1973. Trade names include Voltaren, Cataflam, Acoflam and many others. Concerns regarding the safety of such products for European vultures and other carrion-eaters like the golden eagle and the rare Spanish imperial eagle were raised earlier this year by a coalition of nature protection organizations led by the Vulture Conservation Foundation. The EU Commission subsequently initiated a referral procedure pursuant to article 35 of Directive 2001/82/EC on veterinary medicinal products to screen the drug for its possible impact on the scavengers.

The assessment, performed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), concluded that the veterinary use of diclofenac in livestock animals poses a risk to European vultures and other necrophageous bird species. By acknowledging such a risk despite a lack…

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