In this video, you can see a short story about one man´s passion for griffon vultures – and hear about veterinary diclofenac, an impending threat to them.
Diclofenac - an anti-inflammatory veterinary drug used in animals such as cattle and pigs, has been authorized for sale in Spain , Italy and a few other European countries. The problem is that diclofenac is highly toxic to vultures and kills them hours after they have eaten a contaminated carcass. A safe alternative to diclofenac exists and is widely available, which would limit any adverse effects of a ban.
The VCF and a number of other conservation organisations have asked the EU to ban diclofenac. After a long battle, they decided not to prohibit the sale of diclofenac, instead going for the adoption of a number of risk mitigating measures to try to prevent contaminated carcasses from entering the vulture food chain. As part of this process, the EU has asked all members states to review their position regarding diclofenac and those risk mitigating measures – so far all action plans developed, notably the Spanish one, are wholly or partially inadequate.
We believe that European leaders are failing to tackle the use of a dangerous drug which could cause the extinction of vultures across the continent. A ban in some Asian countries, including India and Pakistan, has helped to arrest the catastrophic effects on vulture populations there.
Vultures provide services to European farmers that are far more valuable than the benefits of this product, which can be replaced by safer drugs. It is clear that Spanish and European authorities are choosing pharmaceuticals over the environment.
For further information, please see www.4vultures.org
(Photo Inigo Fajardo/VCF)