As the deadline for a final decision by the EU Commission on banning veterinary diclofenac approaches, vultures really need you.
Veterinary diclofenac is extremely toxic to vultures, and has been banned from the Indian subcontinent after causing a 95-99% decline of several vulture species there. Incredibly, it has been approved for use on livestock in Italy and Spain. The Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF) has been leading a campaign, together with other organisations, to ban this drug in Europe too: given the existence of a non-toxic alternative (Meloxicam), common sense suggests a precautionary approach should be taken. We had therefore asked the EU Commission to start a procedure for the withdrawal of an authorized veterinary medicinal drug which affects Community interests, Under Article 35 of Veterinary Medicines Directive (2001/82/EC). You can see more details about veterinary diclofenac, its impacts, and the whole campaign, here
The EU has been considering the issue for several months, and asked last summer the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for a technical opinion, originally due in the end of this month. Following a public consultation (see VCF´s contribution here), the EMA has now recently announced that they will take a position by mid-December, following which the EU Commission should take the final decision.
It is therefore crucial to lobby now the European decision makers towards the only sensible solution – a ban on veterinary diclofenac in the EU, as evidence of its impacts on vultures is irrefutable, while a safe alternative exists.
The VCF and other organisations have written another letter to Commissioner Andriukaitis (see below) to keep up the pressure. Now we are asking you to help - please write to your MEP and ask him to put a word for vultures through a Parliamentary Question directed at the EU Commission. You can find who your MEPs are here
Earlier this month the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS), to which both the EU and all EU members states are signatory, has recommended a ban on veterinary diclofenac (see here). We need to make sure that MEPs and the EU Commission know that we all expect them to take immediate action to implement these recommendations. You can use or adapt the draft letter below – please write it in your own language. It may take 30 minutes to do so – yet, the long term future of European vultures may depend on it. Please help!