23 February 2021.
In a landmark initiative to save the small remaining population of Asia’s globally threatened vultures—an example for others like India, Pakistan, Nepal and Cambodia to follow, Bangladesh has become the first country that has banned the painkiller ketoprofen. This painkiller is used widely to treat the cattle. But this painkiller is toxic to vultures.
- This painkiller is used widely to treat the cattle. But this painkiller is toxic to vultures.
- The Saving Asia’s Vultures from Extinction (SAVE) report states that ketoprofen is now widely used as a main anti-inflammatory drug by vets in Bangladesh.
- But, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac and ketoprofen are a major threat to vultures of South Asia.
- These drugs led to the catastrophic 99.9 per cent declines of white-rumped vultures in this region.
- Indian government had banned the use of diclofenac for veterinary purpose in the year 2006.
- However, this step is not that effective since there are other toxic drugs are in use.
- In the December 2020, Oman became the first country in Arabian Peninsula to ban the veterinary use of diclofenac in order to conserve the endangered species such as vultures.
About Indian Vultures
- The scientific name of the vulture is Gyps indicus.
- This vulture is native to India, Pakistan and Nepal.
- It breeds in the hilly regions of central and peninsular India.
- Population of three out of nine Indian species of vultures namely – white-rumped vulture, long-billed vulture and the slender-billed vulture, have declined by 90 percent during the mid-1990s.
- This, the vulture had been listed since 2002 as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.