Ban Veterinary Diclofenac Now!
Veterinary diclofenac is extremely toxic to vultures and eagles. Its use on cattle almost wiped out the South Asian populations of vultures in the 90’s and has recently been found to affect eagles too. An EU ban on veterinary diclofenac is urgently needed to avoid disaster in Europe. Support our call for a ban now!
Diclofenac is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) whose veterinary use has been the main cause of the catastrophic 99% decline of several species of vultures in South Asia.
In a recently published paper in the journal Bird Conservation International, scientists found diclofenac residue in tissues of steppe eagles found dead in Rajasthan, India. These birds of prey are closely related to the golden eagles found in the UK, the vulnerable Spanish Imperial Eagle and other globally vulnerable or declining Eurasian eagles. Scientists now fear that all species in this genus, known as Aquila, are susceptible to diclofenac too.
Despite the tragic experience in South Asia and the availability of safe drug alternatives, we have confirmed that veterinary diclofenac is now commercially available in at least two EU countries: Spain and Italy.
Spain and Italy are key to vulture and eagle conservation in Europe and protecting European populations requires a coordinated campaign. BirdLife Europe, its Partners in Italy (LIPU) and Spain (SEO/BirdLife) and the Vulture Conservation Foundation call the EU to ban veterinary diclofenac to avoid the repetition of the South Asian ecological catastrophe. Support our call!Watch this!
This video shows different vulture species in the way that they should be portrayed; as vital, majestic birds who keep the balance in our delicate ecological cycle. It also presents and explains the risks associated with the use of veterinary diclofenac to vultures.
Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.