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Bihar curbs medicine that kills vultures


Patna : The Bihar government has decided to check the use of anti-inflammatory Diclofenac medicine in treatment of animals as the drug accumulates in the tissues of carcasses and is leading to the death of vultures.

Bihar Animal Resources and Fisheries Minister Ramanarayan Mandal said Friday: “I was told by experts that vultures suffer from renal failure and die after consuming the Diclofenac accumulated in the tissues of the dead animals.

“We have directed not to go for veterinary use of Diclofenac to save vultures and to help increase their numbers,” Mandal told IANS.

The minister said that in May 2006 the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) had asked all state drug controllers to phase out Diclofenac from the veterinary use within three months.

DCGI issued another circular in 2008 asking all state drug controllers to direct manufacturers of Diclofenac to label it “not for veterinary use”.

Despite the notes, rampant use of Diclofenac continued in Bihar.

Once a common site in the state, vultures have seen a steep decline in numbers in the last decade.

“Vultures are now spotted mainly in Bhagalpur, Supaul, Araria and Khagaria districts,” an animal resources department official said.