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Harmful livestock drug kills vulture from threatened species in Spain, sparking renewed requires European ban on it

An anti-inflammatory livestock drug, which was banned in a number of Asian nations after killing tens of tens of millions of birds, has killed at the very least certainly one of a threatened species of vulture in Spain, the place the drug remains to be authorized.

The loss of life of a cinereous vulture – which is classed as a near-threatened species by the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – was confirmed this week to be the primary recorded case in Europe of an animal being poisoned by diclofenac, after feasting on the carcass of livestock.

Even if the drug killed tens of tens of millions of vultures in India through the ’90s and ’00s, nearly wiping out the inhabitants and placing many species in peril of extinction, diclofenac was by no means banned in Europe prefer it has been in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

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Although it was argued that Europe wouldn’t expertise the identical issues as India as a result of useless livestock is disposed-of extra rapidly and effectively, the Royal Society for the Safety of Birds’ John Mallord advised the Guardian that the declare “has now been proven to be fallacious.”

“This can be a vastly worrying growth,” Mallord stated, noting that if there are “a number of vultures feeding on a single cattle carcass, and whether it is contaminated with the drug, you’ll kill all of them simply from a single feeding.”

Mallord additionally expressed his concern that the newest vulture in Europe to have died from diclofenac is way from being the primary.

Chook conservationists have referred to as on Europe and the Spanish authorities to ban the drug, with BirdLife Europe’s Senior Head of Conservation Ivan Ramírez calling it “absurd to maintain insisting on licensing a drug that kills threatened species when there are many different protected and low-cost alternate options in Europe.”

search engine optimisation/BirdLife conservation coordinator additionally stated in a assertion: “We hope that no extra instances are needed for the Spanish Company for Medicines and Well being Merchandise to definitively ban the usage of medicines containing diclofenac for veterinary use.”

BirdLife estimates there are between simply 7,800 and 10,500 pairs of cinereous vultures left around the globe, and they don’t seem to be the one species of vulture that’s susceptible to potential extinction as a result of the usage of diclofenac in livestock.

Because the Guardian famous, Europe can be residence to populations of bearded, Egyptian, and griffon vultures, and the drug may additionally kill susceptible eagle populations, together with the Spanish imperial eagle, of which there are simply 300 pairs remaining.

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