Diclofenac: a Vulture killer – watch this new video

Europe's vultures are at risk from the sale of veterinary diclofenac (Svetoslav Spasov)
Europe's vultures are at risk from the sale of veterinary diclofenac (Svetoslav Spasov)
By Communications, Tue, 29/04/2014 - 08:25

Diclofenac is an anti-inflammatory drug whose veterinary use has been the main cause of the catastrophic 99% decline of several species of vultures in South Asia. Despite this tragic experience and while alternative safe drugs exist, it has now been confirmed that the vulture-killer drug is commercially available for veterinary purposes in at least two EU countries; Italy and Spain.

This new video commissioned by BirdLife and the Vulture Conservation Foundation and produced by Ran Levy-Yamamori presents the case, linking the threat in Europe with the Asian catastrophe, and appeals for urgent action. It also shows vulture species in the way that they should be portrayed; as vital, majestic birds who keep the balance in our delicate ecological cycle.

BirdLife, its Partners in Italy (LIPU) and Spain (SEO/BirdLife) and the Vulture Conservation Foundation have recently launched a campaign calling on the EU to ban veterinary diclofenac. Support our call now!



For more information, visit our website or contact Elodie Cantaloube, Media and Communications Officer at Birdlife Europe.

Europe and Central Asia Preventing Extinctions - Europe and Central Asia


Diclofenac is only a problem where the carcasses of cattle that have been treated with it are left for vultures to feed on. Does this happen in the EU?

Dear Simon, most European Vultures eat wild animals, but historically domestic animals, such as cattle and pigs, have been a part of their diet. A decline in the availability of carcasses domestic animals during the BSE crisis has lead to widespread starvation the vulture populations, which lead to the installation of vulture feeding stations, to help the populations recover. There are also special protection zones designated for vultures, where carcasses do not need to be clean up. A few diclofenac treated animals can kill dozens of vultures. It is practically impossible to avoid animals with diclofenac ending up in the feeding stations or the protected zones. Given that there are alternatives available, it is inexcusable to put the vultures at risk.

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