Iberianature Forum

Birds of Iberia. Big, little, floaters, stoopers and soarers => Birdlife in Iberia => Topic started by: Clive on May 02, 2008, 10:14 AM

Title: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on May 02, 2008, 10:14 AM
EDIT.... THIS TOPIC HAS BEEN MOVED HERE TO THE MAIN IBERIAN BIRD BOARD BECAUSE THERE SEEMS TO BE ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO SUGGEST A THREAT TO IBERIAN VULTURES.

Hi All,

Reading the latest from the BBC about diclofenac and the Asian vulture population decimation it seems whilst there are people working really hard to help reduce the damage, the pharmaceutical companies are just selling the stuff as normal...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7373381.stm

With the news that Diclofenac is now available in Africa it won't be long before we see problems with the Iberian migratory Griffons that cross the straits of Gibraltar every year... I still don't have any estimated numbers of migrants passing this way and also I am under the impression that some griffons this far south in Andalucia make regular trips across to Morocco during the year depending on carrion food supply...

Here is the RSBP link
http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/details.asp?id=tcm:9-188408

And here is the Bombay natural history society current news
http://www.bnhs.org/article.php?cid=MjI%3D&sid=MjU3&aid=MjYz&t=Mg%3D%3D&PHPSESSID=31d529b2f966c030569c4bac6617847a

Clive
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: lisa on May 02, 2008, 21:13 PM
Interesting that it only affects certain species, ie. Condors seem to be immune to the effects of this drug. Another interesting point is that no pharmaceutical company is named in any of the reports. I can't remember reading of any before either. Should the companies concerned not be being heavily lobbied by members of the RSPB, Birdlife Int. Iberianature forum, etc. etc? Of course, the less vultures around to keep the place clean, the more bacteria to be combatted......
This really is bad news, I thought the problem had been solved. Here's another link for the RSPB's donation campaign. (http://www.rspb.org.uk/supporting/campaigns/vultures/)
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on May 02, 2008, 22:00 PM
Hi,

I have spent ages trying to find the names of the companies producing Diclofenac and now its generic varieties... I just get bogged down in circles and get nowhere...

I think that the generic versions available in Africa have a different brand name as well so are even harder to track down...

Now that it is proven that diclofenac has caused this I would like to see the company responsible for the original research and development of the drug to at least make some kind of a statement.... Maybe there are legal issues here that are stopping names being named?

I guess I am not looking hard enough... :)

Clive
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: John C on May 03, 2008, 00:21 AM
I find this topic so depressing!  I sometimes wonder whether the best thing that conservationists could do would be to buy up supplies of the harmless drug and simply give it away.  If only someone could persuade the governments concerned how much cheaper vultures are as sanitation workers!  Regarding the immunity of condors, current taxonomic thinking is that they're not 'real' raptors, but more closely related to storks!

John
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: lisa on May 03, 2008, 07:08 AM
GlaxoSmithKline market diclofenac under the brand name "Dicofen". (http://www.offshore-pharma.com/prod/Anti-Inflammatory%20Agents-Phenylacetice%20Acid-Diclofenac%20Injections-Injections-1282)
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on May 03, 2008, 11:46 AM
Hi all,

So I went to Lisa's link and sure enough it mentions the big company GlaxoSmithKline.... But this is where I get lost in circles... The web site of said big company http://www.gsk.com/index.htm has absolutely no information available for diclofenac or dicofen. There are no articles defending its use or anything a tall that agrees or disagrees with the current sale of this product across asia or africa or anywhere else... As far as the web site is concerned its not there so why does the site that lisa posted say its made by GSK?

It gets a bit tiring trying to find out information... I have written to the RSPB, the hawk council, the Bombay natural history society and had no reply at all from any of them.. (more than 6 months ago I wrote)

Can anyone find a statement from any pharmaceutical company about this subject anywhere?

John, can you get the information of Gyps fulvus passage migrant numbers across the straits of Gibraltar? Where do they winter?

As far as I can see at some point this is going to start affecting Iberian bred birds because of the sale of this product across Africa.

Clive

Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: judith on May 03, 2008, 12:56 PM
Hi all,

Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that has been used in humans for donkeys years. It is especially helpful to arthritic sufferers, especially children with juvenile arthritis. It does however come with various side-effects, some more serious than others. In humans, it is a case for doctors to work out in the individual patient whether the benefits out-weigh the risks.
Meloxicam is a newer NSAID, which also comes with it's own benefits and risks...infact all of the NSAID's can have serious side effects in a few individuals.
Both drugs have their uses and, if used appropriately, can be very beneficial.

The question I feel we should be asking is why the vets in Africa and Asia are using NSAID's and how frequently...they should not be dished out like sweets for mild pain, also if the animal is incapacitated enough to need NSAID's and subsequently dies, the disposal of the corpse should be of paramount importance to prevent it becoming part of the food chain.

Diclofenac comes as tablets, suppositories and injections.
Trade names areVoltarol (distributed by Novartis), Diclomax (Provalis), Motifene( Sankyo), Arthrotec Pharmacia), Acoflam,Defenac,Dexomon,Dicloflex,diclovol, Fenactol,Flamatak,Flamrase,rhumalgan,Slofenac and other trade names in other countries.

Haven't looked into their sites on the net yet, but will do over the weekend.

Cheers
Judith
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on May 03, 2008, 14:03 PM
Thanks for the extra info Judith... Especially the other trade names that have appeared since its release to anyone to make a generic version.

Also the with any drug, veterinary brand names are often different to the human usage brand names

The links in my initial post are good reading and answer some of your points raised. It is obligatory reading really in order to grasp the seriousness of the whole issue.

Clive
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on May 03, 2008, 21:11 PM
Veterinary brand names I have found are

diclofenac, voltral, dolo k, and dicofen

I have written to a few NGO's and other people

What is quite amazing to me is that everyone everywhere are talking about various "eco subjects" such as global warming etc.... but a 95 percent decline in Asian vulture species in just 10 years is so shocking I wonder why we don't hear more about it.... It raises so many questions about our usage of pharmaceutical drugs and globalisation doesn't it?

95 percent in just 10 years! If anyone can find another species that has declined to this extent I would like to know about it....

Clive
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: peanut on May 03, 2008, 21:41 PM
Hi Clive,
There are two questions I have about this subject-
Why is diclofenac used in such large amounts in cattle- is it as anti-inflam or are there other benefits (growth rates etc)
I can see from the associated sites that meloxican was trialed on vultures but I cannot see that diclofenac was trialed in the same way;while I can see that this is understanderble given the possible consequences, it would be good to see statistical proof rather than a suggested link between death rates and diclofenac intake
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: judith on May 03, 2008, 22:02 PM
Hi Clive,
I have read all the links on your first post, but unless I am being dumb (which is perfectly possible in fact probable), I can't find the research bit that says how the researchers know that it was definately Diclofenac that caused the problem. I agree they found levels of Diclofenac in the dead birds and that the drug could have caused renal failure in the birds as this is the way it is excreted through the body, but where is the definitive research that says Diclofenac is the causative agent?
Also why are so many cattle in India in need of anti-inflammatories at all?
I know I sound like I'm defending Diclofenac, but I promise I'm not! It's just that I feel if you/we/conservationists are going to take on big pharmaceutical companies, we must be absolutely certain of the facts otherwise it will all get swept under the carpet again!
Could it be that it is not the drug per se that is at fault but the people misprescribing, using or abusing it that are at fault?
If that is the case, no company distributing Diclofenac(and making very fat profits from it) are going to feel that they should stop getting their "good, beneficial" drug to the places that most need it....even if they are using the human prep. instead!

(Incidentally, linked to this subject and with some interesting parallels, although only fictitious, is a John Le Carre novel called "The Constant Gardener") I promise you not as frivolous as it sounds and certainly not mentioned to take away from the seriousness of this issue.
I will have a look at the distributing agents and see if I can glean anything from them....I'll also look at some of the other drugs they distribute and see if they have any of the ones I used to precribe in their portfolio.....you never know, there may be a back door to the research via a friendly rep!
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on May 03, 2008, 22:40 PM
Hi Judith and Peanut and all....

This link
http://www.birdlife.org/action/science/species/asia_vulture_crisis/vulture_manifesto.html

Should explain a lot more if you are unfamiliar with the situation regarding the use of diclofenac and the connection to Asian vulture decline...

There are more links to info at the top right of the page at birdlife, if you have time please take a look at the history and research...

At the bottom of the page I linked to is a list of the people who endorse the research.

What I am most interested in here is that I am now hearing mention of a threat to "European" vultures and given that Spain holds the biggest colonies then I want to know why there is a risk...

Clive
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on May 03, 2008, 23:09 PM
Hi,

I see from the iucn red list that the Egyptian vulture is also under decline in Asia possibly due to diclofenac.... This is new as I thought only gyps species were affected.

http://www.iucnredlist.org/search/details.php/49339/all

Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: judith on May 03, 2008, 23:21 PM
We agree, very worrying re; Spanish vultures...... we need to look further into the situation and establish for ourselves,at least, some solid facts!
(Thanks Clive! I thought I was going to spend the weekend enjoying the sun, but now will be glued to the computer!) :)
This is going to be quite a deep and complicated topic I think!
Judith
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on May 03, 2008, 23:50 PM
From the BBC article at the beginning of this topic....

Quote
Although India's government banned the manufacture of the drug in 2006, Dr Cunningham said the measure has had little impact.

"They have only banned its manufacture for veterinary treatments," he explained, "the manufacture for medical treatments are unaffected by this ban.

"The treatment of animals with diclofenac also hasn't been banned, so people are now just using the medical version to treat animals rather than buying the veterinary one."

It also appears as if the drug is still being imported from producers in other countries, which means fresh supplies are making their way onto the market.

What I see is loopholes.....
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: judith on May 04, 2008, 14:30 PM
Hi Clive,
 have found the research paper that Dr. Lindsay Oaks wrote, just got to read through it now (Diclofenac residues as the cause of vulture population decline in Pakistan" principal author: J.Lindsay Oaks, published in Nature:vol.427;12 Feb 2004, www.nature.com/nature) but there is definite proof that it was Diclofenac that was responsible; a quote from Dr. Oaks:
"The researchers also gave diclofenac, and meat from animals treated with diclofenac, to 20 non-releasable vultures rescued from nesting colonies. "We hated to do it," says Oaks. The diclofenac killed these vultures in very small doses, with the same symptoms as the dead, wild vultures. Furthermore, the higher the dose of the drug, the more likely the vultures were to die."I've also found a couple of clinical trials involving Diclofenac still recruiting in India and one in Africa, but will need to read up on them too!

Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: judith on May 04, 2008, 14:42 PM
Globally,clinical trials involving Diclofenac are being sponsored by loads of pharmaceutical companies;
nuvo Research Inc, Wyeth, Cerimon Pharmaceuticals, Novartis, Javelin Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer, Merck, to name but a few.
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on May 04, 2008, 20:46 PM
Judith,

Are you talking about usage for humans or veterinary for the trials?

Obviously its the veterinary usage that causes the most problems but in India people just started to use the human versions when the veterinary ones were banned. That said it does seem that veterinary versions are still filtering into the country....

I am waiting for replies to some emails I have sent but what I am trying to find out now is....

1. What is the law in Morocco regarding the use of Diclofenac for veterinary purposes.

2. How many Iberian griffon vultures migrate annually to areas that may be using this drug

I have heard that in 2000 there was a recorded passage of almost 4000 individuals. Given that estimates in Iberia for Gyps fulvus are around 20,000 individuals that means that a large portion of Iberian griffons will be at risk whilst away from Iberia...

Clive
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: steveT on May 05, 2008, 01:00 AM
Clive,

There was an article on a study done on Giffon migration into Morocco in Quercus ..... over ten years ago ..... I remember little about it.......I no longer have the copy ..... but there should be a way to get it.

steevT
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: nick on May 06, 2008, 11:08 AM
This is a well reserached thread. Well done everybody. I'm trying find some infro from Spanish sources but so far no joy.
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on May 06, 2008, 23:11 PM
This is the most recent update from Birdlife International

http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2008/04/vulture_declines.html

Quote
Asian vultures will be extinct in the wild within a decade without urgent action to eliminate the livestock drug that has caused their catastrophic decline, a newly published paper warns.

The new study shows that the population of White-rumped Vultures Gyps bengalensis is dropping by more than 40 per cent each year in India where it has plunged by 99.9 per cent since 1992. Numbers of Indian G. indicus and Slender-billed Vultures G. tenuirostris together, have fallen by almost 97 per cent in the same period.

Conservationists say that banning the retail sale of the veterinary drug diclofenac and constructing three more captive breeding centres is the only way to save the birds. Manufacture of the veterinary form of the drug, as an anti-inflammatory treatment for livestock, was outlawed in India in 2006 but it remains widely available. Furthermore, diclofenac formulated for humans is being used to treat livestock.

I have written to Birdlife international and asked questions plus given them a link to this topic... Wait for an answer.....

Clive
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on May 06, 2008, 23:50 PM
From 2004 here are what I can find as the most up to date figures (again from Birdlife International) for Gyps fulvus population data.

Look at the figures on the left 17,300 to 18,100 for the Iberian stronghold. All other countries have just tens or some hundreds.

Still need...

Migration numbers figures
Migration destination figures
daily return journey figures of griffons to Morocco from South Spain.
Moroccan policy on Diclofenac

Clive

Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: arvak on June 05, 2008, 00:51 AM
Hello to all.

Allthough i know the uses of diclofenaco in human medicine, I've never used it in animals because of the kidney toxicity and the effects in the gastroenterical tract. I knew about the toxicity when i was a student in a conference of Roberto Aguilar and Patrick Redig of the Raptor Centre of Minnesota (they were my heroes in raptors medicine).

   At the moment the use of NSAID´s is very extended in the Pet's clinic (meloxicam, carprofen,ibuprofen...) but no in my clinic ( I'm a Little bit against them).

   That means that i have to study to be helpfull in this topic.

    By the way i can begin writing to a friend who was my teacher at the University in Pharmacology Department. I'll write him in two or three days so, please, if some one have any question to transmit to him it will be wellcome. I'll make a list of questions to send him and i hope he will give an interesting points of view.

   
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on June 05, 2008, 10:15 AM
Hi Arvac, thank you for your response to this rather difficult topic...

Meloxicam is one of the safe alternatives that does not kill gyps species..... I don't know about the other ones...

Questions for your friend...

Spain...

1. Has diclofenac ever been used in Spain to treat (especially farmyard) animals such as cows, pigs, sheep, goats etc.?
2. Is the veterinary use and or sale of diclofenac illegal in Spain?
3 Now that there are many generic versions of Diclofenac are they being used for veterinary use especially in animals that would be a food supply for livestock that are part of a griffon vultures food source.

Migratory vultures to Africa...

1. Who should we contact to find out about my proposed risk to migratory griffons from Iberia to Africa with regards to the latest news that diclofenac is being widely sold there.

And, anything else that you as a vet can think of....

Thanks Arvac...

Just as an update of the 5 emails I have sent to various proffessional companies and NGO's I have recieved exactly zero replies... Disappointing to say the least...

And can anyone find out the latest figures of griffon migration from Iberia to Africa... I can't find out anything at all....

Looking around at various other forums I can't find anyone even talking about what I consider to be a very real and plausible threat to the last great colonies of Eurasion griffon vultures...

Or is this another case of its not happening yet so lets wait till it does... ie shutting the door after the horse has bolted...(sp anyone)

Clive
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: arvak on June 05, 2008, 12:33 PM
Thanks Clive ,
   at the moment i don't know other uses of diclofenac but antiinflamatory . This was the first thing that surprised me when i begun to read. If it would have been an steroid drug it's easy to suspect that it is used for the growth and feeding ( like clembuterol ), but it isn't . It must be used for other purposes as someone pointed in the topic.
 have you written to Consejeria de Medio Ambiente de la Comunidad de Madrid?. I lost contact ten years ago but i left there good friends ( forest guards, not bosses) and i can ask them for a contact in the vultures control group.
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: arvak on June 05, 2008, 13:26 PM
Here i am again,

 I know a little bit more that can explain the use of diclofenac ( i feel silly for not think about it earlier).

  Well, the diclofenac is allowed to be used in many pathologies in cows, pigs, sheeps, horses, and other domestic animals. The main thing is that it's not administrated alone as a simple drug , but it's included in the composition of other medicines that are commonly used for respiratory diseases, "mastitis", foot inflammation etc. ( I have no experience in treating farm animals so i had to ask about their medicines).

 For example:  If we read the composition of many of those medicines we can find Penicilin-G, Streptomycin  as antibiotics and diclofenac as antinflamatory drug in the same vial. The use of the antiinflamatory drug  helps the action of the antibiotic one (it is quicklier).

  So, if a farmer has his cows  with a mammal infection they won't produce as much milk as they are supposed to do and the treatment to avoid that is with the mix of antibiotic and antiinflamatory drugs. It becomes an economic trouble.

 

  Rgs Arvak.

Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on June 05, 2008, 13:40 PM
Hi Arvak, Thank you very much for your much needed information....

Can I just make this absolutely clear....

Are we saying now that diclofenac is being used by vets on a regular basis on general farm animals in Spain?
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: arvak on June 05, 2008, 14:09 PM
Hi Clive

Yes, I'm afraid it is but I'll investigate to make sure. Usually there is a hard competition between the different Laboratories to introduce their own medicines in the daily clinic and the criteria to choose one or another are the success in the treatments and who is cheapper.

The main thing is that you may include meloxicam in the medicine's composition but i have no information about if this drug can be added as a generic to the composition or if the molecular composition is registered and belongs to an specific company. I'll look for more information.

Rgs. Arvak
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: arvak on June 07, 2008, 00:08 AM
Hello to all

I've received the first answer of a pharmaceutical friend and this is the resume of what she wrote:

              1.- She couldn't found any pharmacology speciality in Spain registered with diclofenaco (alone or included in a complex medicine), but it must be registered in Europe because she has found the LMR (maximum residual limit) published by the EU. ( That means that it's legal to be used in Spain but you can't buy it here).

              2.- The diclofenac is not allowed for treating animals that produces milk for human feeding .

              3.- There are at least two more NSAIDs that can kill vultures: flunixin (Finadyine) and carprofen (Rimadyl). I don't have the link but you can find it in the articles of Dr.Andrew Cunningham from the London Zoologycal Society)


It's not so much but I'll continue.


Arvak.
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: lisa on June 07, 2008, 06:41 AM
 :o Rimadyl is the drug (strong painkiller) that our vet prescribed for our dog. We considered leaving her body on a mountain to feed the vultures! Luckily we buried her instead. Does anyone know all the generic names for these drugs? And I'm sorry, I must have missed this bit somewhere, what does NSAID stand for (mean)?
I'm going to check all our veterinary drugs now........
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: lisa on June 07, 2008, 07:13 AM
O.K. - for me and any other dunces, Diclofenac (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diclofenac) is a Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug.
Apologies if this link is already here, www.vulturerescue.org (http://www.vulturerescue.org/), but it won't hurt to have it twice.
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: arvak on June 08, 2008, 23:51 PM
Hello all,

In my friend's answer the last idea she wrote was that since the problem with the Krewtfeld Jackobs desease ("enfermedad de las vacas locas") it is forbidden to leave animal corps uncontrolled for vultures feeding. Obviously she was thinking only in EU laws.

The example of your dog has made me think about the risks of the prescriptions in the normal pet clinic that are important even after the death of the patient.
I'll explain:

              At first i identified the problem only in Asia and only to the vultures that can travel every year. I never thought that one of my customers could decide this end to his Pet's body,(but it's not impossible).

              As i wrote , i use NSAIDs as less as possible because of the gastroenteric disorders, they are really good "painkillers"in arthritis problems but not all the patients can afford them. Other drugs like opioid have good analgesic power but the targets are different.

              The use of MELOXICAM  (METACAN, BöERINGER INGRLHEIM) is very extended, but the CARPROFEN (RIMADYL, PFIZER, OR CANIDRYL, ESTEVE LABs) produces less digestive problems to the patient.

          Thank you for open my eyes.

Arvak.

Clive: The only places where I've found drugs with diclofenac are from HispanoAmerican countries. I guess that it must be a very cheap group of medicines.
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on June 09, 2008, 12:04 PM
Hi all,

Here is a PDF from the 2004 British Ecological Society, Journal of Applied, Ecology
Diclofenac poisoning as a cause of vulture population declines across the Indian subcontinent
http://www.vulturerescue.org/JAppliedEcol%20Vulture.pdf

So, If Lisa's dog was placed for vultures to eat.. (Something that I think is a noble thing to do by the way). Then would the griffons that ate the body die? What quantity of rimidyl in a cadaver is enough to have an effect...?

I can't find a definitive list of NSAIDS that kill vultures... Can anyone else?

This topic is producing a lot more questions than answers...

What if the other NSAIDS are not as deadly as diclofenac... What if collected sick vultures are treated for "poisoning", recuperated and released again like this one... http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?topic=865.0

What I would like to find is a list of the known drugs that cause a problem that are available and widely used in Spain...

I am almost at the point of moving this topic to the main Spain boards but I would like to have an answer to some of the emails I have been sending out first....

Clive

Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: arvak on June 09, 2008, 14:18 PM
Hi all
 
When a laboratory tries to find a drug and to register it for human or animal use , it's necessary  to know the LD50 ( Lethal dose that kills the 50% of the Lab. animals in the test) . Then they extrapolate with mathematical figures and other tools like cellular cultures etc.

I think that at the moment it's impossible to find the LD50 if the investigations are based only with death vultures.

I'll ask about this to specialists.

Rgs. Arvak
Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: arvak on June 13, 2008, 21:17 PM
Again I'm here,

     I've found another medicine that includes diclofenac and is comonly used and easy to buy here in Spain. It's called VOLTAREN. It's registered for human use but i know many vets that have used it. You can find it as pills and as a gel. It belongs to GEIGY Labs.

     I've met a vet that is working for other laboratory that is trying to introduce a new drug with antiinflamatory power and i told him that if he can confirm that it's save for the vultures i would only use his drug. At first he has shown interest in the subject and he will ask for more information in the next meeting (next Monday). I gave him the idea about giving to a "becario" (help, Technopat) this subject as a thesis work.

     Well, I'll tell you as soon as he answer me.


Rgs. Arvak.



Title: Re: Diclofenac and vultures
Post by: Clive on June 13, 2008, 23:34 PM
Hi all,

I have had a reply from one of my letters....

Quote
Dear Clive and Sue,
 
Very pleased that this issue is being picked up on by your group. I think you are quite correct to be concerned, and you've collectively defined the concerns quite clearly. You are right that we are concerned about the safety of flunixin and carprofen, although this is not properly tested - just rather anecdotal information raising the concern, and proper testing on vultures is of course a huge undertaking.
 
Your questions about diclofenac use and licensing in Morocco are entirely valid, and I'm afraid we have almost no information on this apart from a little in East Africa. Diclofenac is very popular as a human drug (even in India, 90% of the market was human) and we have shied away from even asking for it to be banned in India, where we have only so far been successful in getting the manufacture of veterinary formulations banned two years ago. Getting safe alternatives in to common veterinary practice seems to be the best option (only meloxicam so far), but as you say, the dependence on cattle carcasses in these places may well be reducing the scale of the potential problem. It just seems on the face of it to be a problem that could be avoided before diclofenac has become an established veterinary drug. I went to the OIE meeting in Senegal in March to get the message across to senior veterinary drug officials from all African countries... its a big job to reach them all and remain vigilant.
 
Presumably the Iberian griffons go further south than just Morocco? So it may be a wider issue for you too?
 
I've attached one or two relevant materials. We are overstretched to address the issue in Asia, so hoping that you are able to stir up more interest in the issue and to follow up further. I hope this helps and will be very pleased to hear any more on the issue from you.
 
With thanks,
Chris Bowden
International Species Recovery Officer
RSPB UK Headquarters, The Lodge, Sandy, Beds SG19 2DL, UK

So taking into account this reply coupled with ArvaKs latest post about Diclofenac being used in Spain by vets I think I will move this topic to an Iberian board...

Clive

Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on June 13, 2008, 23:53 PM
Hi all

The attached PDF document explains very briefly about issues arising in Africa. It also mentions something about Europe and diclofenac law...

Quote
Diclofenac is not licensed for veterinary use in Europe or North America; however it should be noted that diclofenac is widely licensed for medical use for treating human ailments. There are alternative NSAID veterinary drugs available, e.g. Meloxicam, that do not harm vultures so there is actually no need for veterinary diclofenac at all.

Arvaks news that vets in Spain are using diclofenac on animals that is meant for human use only is very worrying....

Clive

PS... Arvak, the word you are looking for would be a graduate university student or something like that who could make a study as part of his/her work shcedule
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: arvak on June 14, 2008, 17:38 PM
I think that the main problem is not with the vets that work with dogs and cats. I've asked to 7 vets that attend cows and horses and the principal NSAID that they use is FLUNIXIN MEGLUMINE, (FINADYNE), but almost all of them told me that many times they have been told by their customers that they have given voltaren to the animals in spite of calling them.


Rgs. Arvak.
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on June 16, 2008, 21:14 PM
Hi all,

Had a reply from Birdlife International

Quote
Dear Clive,

I’m terribly sorry, I had your email below passed on to me on the 5th and thought that I’d given a reply but it seems I haven’t (though at the time I did pass this on to our communications team as it seems to be a very interesting and potentially serious issue). Having discussed with Ian Burfield who works in our European Division, in short, BirdLife does not hold the specific information about Gyps fulvus movements across the Straits of Gibraltar. We both felt that your best bet for this would be to contact SEO, the BirdLife partner in Spain whose details can be found at http://www.birdlife.org/worldwide/national/spain/index.html . In reference to whether Diclofenac is likely to be a threat to birds that move into Morocco, I think at this stage there is no evidence for this as the drug as, as far as I know, only been recorded in East Africa within the continent. However, I cc here Chris Bowden who is heavily involved in RSPBs work on Gyps vultures in India and he may wish to comment further. I don’t know whether Morocco has banned the drug for veterinary use.

Sorry for the long delay in responding to you and sorry not to be more helpful, good luck with your further research.

Best wishes,
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on June 20, 2008, 15:46 PM
Hi all,

Although this latest from Birdlife international is about Africa, it's still pertinent to Iberian Griffons because at some point in the future the sale of diclofenac will affect the European birds that migrate to the African continent...
http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2008/06/Unlicensed_diclofenac_vulture.html

Quote
Unlicensed diclofenac still on sale in Tanzania

20-06-2008

A recent visitor to the Shoprite Complex veterinary retail shop in Arusha, Tanzania, reports that diclofenac is still on sale there. Diclofenac, which causes kidney failure in vultures, has been responsible for the near-extinction of three Gyps vulture species in India, with a decline of 99.9 percent in the case of Critically Endangered White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis.
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: peanut on June 21, 2008, 16:09 PM
Hi All,
have sped read through the updates since mid_May, when I had to disappear to the land of grey! Now back, but will need time to catch up!

I know vets in England who often use drugs intended for humans on animals, and indeed vice-versa, if it saves them a trip to the GP's....not good practice, but their view is, for example, an antibiotic is an antibiotic!

Whilst I was in England, I spoke to my son's GP about the vulture/Diclofenac problem. He was very up to date with it and agreed it will have massive ecological effects. Interestingly enough, he was very disparaging about the training vet's receive in Asia (he is an Indian himself) and suggested there "is nothing you can do to stop this problem as it is caused by ignorance".

Will catch up with all info, then reply further! Judith
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on July 08, 2008, 17:23 PM
Hi all,

It seems that testing with diclofenac has been done on Iberian Gyps Fulvus by vets at the Jerez zoo and I spent some time asking questions yesterday. I have just been sent these two PDF documents that have some more information. (Just click the links to download and read them).

The dosage to kill a griffon is so incredibly small. Death occurs quickly.

Hopefully we will get some more information soon as to the numbers of Griffons in Iberia and their migratory habits. There is an Iberian griffon count done every 10 years and this year is a count year....Not sure when or even if the data will be available to general public though...

Clive


Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: judith on August 25, 2008, 19:25 PM
Hi all,
We were spaeking to a student Vet this weekend and she had no knowledge of the Diclofenac/vulture prob. She did say that she thought Diclofenac was not licensed for Vet. use in Europe and was shocked to hear of poss. licensing in Africa and it's potential effects for Spanish Vultures.....hopefully she will spread the word to her student friends....hopefully will be seeing more of her and her family (great fun and very Spanish!) and once her exams are over will suggest she joins Iberianature....she could possibly learn a lot from our resident vet, when he returns!
Clive any more news, replies or updates? It seems to be going awful quiet!
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on August 25, 2008, 22:43 PM
As far as i know the only open and questioning discussion about iberian vultures and diclofenac on the net in English language is here at iberianatureforum... Tell your student vet that her input here would be greatly valued......
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on August 27, 2008, 15:53 PM
Latest news regarding the situation for Asian vultures at birdlife international
http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2008/08/indian_drug_announcemment.html
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: judith on August 28, 2008, 14:20 PM
Excellent news, if it works! Will pas it on to my vet student friend!
Do we know if the licence has been granted for Africa?
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: arvak on August 28, 2008, 15:58 PM
Thanks for that Clive

   Rgs. Arvak
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: parthenope on August 29, 2008, 10:55 AM
Hi all,

Another similar article can be found here

http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=1415

It also talks about the rise in packs of feral dogs filling the niche previously occupied by vultures.
Regards
Steve

Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Cris on November 25, 2008, 15:30 PM
Hi!
I give you two interesting links, my friend David (FAB) has given them:
http://www.vulturerescue.org/
http://www.zsl.org/info/media/press-releases/null,1872,PR.html
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on November 25, 2008, 15:55 PM
Hi Cris,

Thanks for the links they work as reminders for the general Asian diclofenac problem....

However, I would be most interested in any information you have as to movements and numbers of migratory Iberian Griffons into Africa....

This topic is pretty much at a standstill until we get some accurate up to date information on migration habits plus the law in African countries on the use of Diclofenac, and also Iberian wide population figures...

Looking forward to any ideas...

Clive

(PS Cris, you can place a link to your website in your signature from your member profile area... Let me know if you need any help to do this....
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Cris on November 29, 2008, 16:17 PM
Hi everyone!
I'll try to get some information about the number of vultures that migrate to Africa. It seems to be a difficult work,  :banghead: there's no infomation in internet, I've writen to some friends that are making vultures counts in Spain. If I get any information I'll say you.
Thanks, Clive I've already put my page in the signature (Spanglish?)  :clapping:
Cris
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: lisa on December 11, 2008, 07:25 AM
SEO/Birdlife's Griffon census was brought forward a year. If I remember why, I'll tell you. They're still waiting for the results from Navarra and Catalunya, I think, but the numbers are expected to be between 26,000 and 30,000.
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Sue on September 04, 2009, 22:24 PM
The following quotes are taken from a Birdlife International report  (http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2009/09/vulture_awareness.html)    - click the link for the full page. Remember that Egyptian Vultures and young Griffon Vultures migrate to Africa to winter there.....

International call to learn to love vultures - or lose them

04-09-2009

BirdLife Partners in Africa and elsewhere have joined with raptor conservation and research organisations around the world to call for an “image makeover” for vultures. They will be celebrating International Vulture Awareness Day on 5 September 2009.

Vultures fulfill an extremely important ecological role. They keep the environment free of carcasses and waste, restrict the spread of diseases such as anthrax and botulism, and help control numbers of pests such as rats and feral dogs by reducing the food available to them. They are of cultural value to communities in Africa and Asia, and have important eco-tourism value.

"One major challenge to detecting and countering these threats is that there are very few people out there watching vultures, let alone counting them. Thus it is difficult to determine population trends and to detect declining populations", said Paul Kariuki Ndang'ang'a, BirdLife's Species Programme Manager for Africa. "The Asian Vulture Crisis has shown that without proper monitoring, a population crash can take place virtually undetected."

Some of the main conservation actions that have been identified for vultures in Africa include: (1) establishing a monitoring network for African vultures, (2) establishing legal protection for the species in range states, (3) eliminating the veterinary use of diclofenac and other toxic drugs in Africa, and (4) carrying out education and awareness programmes, particularly targeted at farmers, to reduce persecution, unintentional poisoning and hunting for cultural reasons.
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on December 09, 2009, 08:50 AM
Latest news is rather depressing in that other vetinary drugs cause rapid death in vultures... This time Ketoprofen... below quote from RSPB UK with regards to the Asian vulture decline but I guess this latest discovery applies to Iberian populations of griffons especially the migratory ones

Quote
For every 1000 Oriental white-backed vultures occuring in southern Asia in the 1980s only one remains today because of the lethal effects of diclofenac - a drug used to treat livestock - on vultures. Alarmingly, researchers looking into safe alternatives have now identified that a second, livestock treatment in Asia - ketoprofen - is also lethal to the birds. Vultures feeding on the carcasses of recently-treated livestock suffer acute kidney failure within days of exposure.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/details.asp?id=tcm:9-236617
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on December 10, 2009, 07:41 AM
Here is the article from the BBC
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8402464.stm

Quote
A veterinary pain drug can be lethal to vultures that eat the carcasses of treated livestock, say scientists.

Ketoprofen is an anti-inflammatory that is used in India to treat cattle.

It had been proposed as a replacement for diclofenac, which scientists say brought some species of Asian vulture to the brink of extinction.

A study published in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters says it causes the birds to suffer acute kidney failure within days of exposure.

This is the same toxic effect caused when vultures feed on the carcasses of animals treated with diclofenac.

Researchers had thought that ketoprofen would be less harmful because it metabolised faster by cows, and converted within hours into a form that is not dangerous to vultures.

But an international team of scientists that carried out safety tests on the drug, found that doses administered to cattle in India were sufficient to kill the birds.

It's a shame the vet from madrid doesn't post here any more... He may have been able to help with information about the use of Ketoprofen in Spain....
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Sue on October 22, 2012, 09:57 AM
As an update to the present situation in Southern Asia, 4yrs after Clive brought our attention to this problem.....
 Conserving South Asia's Vultures  (http://www.birdlife.org/community/2012/10/conserving-south-asias-vultures/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=conserving-south-asias-vultures)

''No vultures will be left in India and the rest of South Asia if immediate steps are not taken for their conservation, NGOs have warned at the CBD CoP 11 currently being held in Hyderabad, India. South Asia once had millions of vultures but over the last decade, 99% of three species have disappeared.''
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: lisa on March 03, 2014, 17:48 PM
Now that the tide has turned for Asian vultures. the Spanish government has just approved the vetinerary use of Diclofenac on livestock here
http://www.paleovivo.org/aprueban-uso-de-veneno/ (http://www.paleovivo.org/aprueban-uso-de-veneno/) !!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on March 04, 2014, 11:40 AM
Absolutely disgusting.... I really have no idea why this is happening.... maybe this in depth topic that we started years ago should be sent to the idiots allowing this....
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on March 07, 2014, 13:48 PM
Please sign the petition.... Thanks

http://www.change.org/petitions/european-union-diclofenac-the-vulture-killing-drug-is-now-available-on-eu-market?share_id=BnoliXnXQR&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&v=control&x=~open_graph_autopublish_experiment
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Juan-P on March 07, 2014, 21:45 PM
Signed.
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: lisa on March 09, 2014, 08:16 AM
And a petition in Spanish
http://www.change.org/es/peticiones/ma-luisa-tarno-fern%C3%A1ndez-prohibir-la-utilizaci%C3%B3n-de-diclofenaco-autorizada-en-marzo-de-2013-por-la-agencia-espa%C3%B1ola-del-medicamento-para-uso-veterinario (http://www.change.org/es/peticiones/ma-luisa-tarno-fern%C3%A1ndez-prohibir-la-utilizaci%C3%B3n-de-diclofenaco-autorizada-en-marzo-de-2013-por-la-agencia-espa%C3%B1ola-del-medicamento-para-uso-veterinario)
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on March 15, 2014, 00:52 AM
Information from Rewilding Europe about the subject...

http://www.rewildingeurope.com/news/articles/all-europe-s-vultures-under-sudden-new-threat/

Quote
All Europe’s vultures under sudden new threat

Rewilding Europe shares the concerns of the Vulture Conservation Foundation and BirdLife International that Eiurope’s vultures are now at extremely high risk. Rewilding Europe supports their efforts for banning veterinary diclofenac in Europe. Both organizations have sent to the EU Commission and the EU member states a formal request for them to start a Referral procedure for a withdrawal of marketing authorization of veterinary diclofenac under Article 35 of Directive 2001/82/EC, based on its risks for vulture populations in Europe.

What a disaster!
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on March 16, 2014, 11:06 AM
An excellent BBC article on the background of diclofenac use in India and the current situation...

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-25963100

Quote
After the devastation wrought by a drug on Asian vulture populations, a project hopes to begin releasing captive-bred birds into the wild by 2016.

The Saving Asia's Vultures from Extinction (Save) programme says it plans to release up to 25 birds into a 30,000-sq-km drug-free "safe zone".

Diclofenac - used by vets on cattle - was identified as causing a crash in vulture numbers and banned by India.

But, says Save, the version for human use is still given illegally to cattle.

Diclofenac was banned for use by vets and farmers in 2006 because of its effect on vultures that feed on livestock carcasses.

The link between the anti-inflammatory drug, used to reduce swelling in injured or diseased animals, and the devastating demise of Asia's vulture populations was firmly established in 2004.
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: StripeyCat on March 22, 2014, 19:25 PM
I don't know what impact this will have, if any, but Diclofenac is being withdrawn from the UK [I know because a friend of mine has just been taken off it]. It has been linked to cardiovascular complications. In Feb' 2013 Dr Patricia McGettigan, from Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, pointed out that the drug "has no advantage in terms of gastrointestinal safety and it has a clear cardiovascular disadvantage". She concluded: "There are strong arguments to revoke its marketing authorisations globally." - See more at: http://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/news/general-news/2013/february/experts-call-for-diclofenac-to-be-withdrawn-due-to-heart-risks.aspx#sthash.Lc86iKfd.dpuf

People are now being switched from diclofenac to safer alternatives, I hope that this will also filter through to its use in animals, and if the post saying it has already been withdrawn from veterinary use is true, then hopefully it won't be too long before it vanishes.
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on March 25, 2014, 10:32 AM
Interesting information from the RSPB on the subject of diclofenac......

Quote
From: "Meyer, Danielle" <Danielle.Meyer@rspb.org.uk>
Subject: RE: Diclofenac threat to Iberian Vultures
Date: 20 March 2014 16:36:17 CET

Hello Paula,
 
Thank you for contacting the RSPB regarding your concerns with the use of diclofenac in Europe and North Africa.
 
As you are aware from your reading, the RSPB and our birdlife partners are continually researching this topic. The introduction of the use of diclofenac in Italy and Spain was devastating for us, as there is so much evidence about the harmful consequences of these drugs on vulture species. Furthermore, meloxicam, another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug is available for use in cattle and swine, with evidence that is cause little to no effects on vulture species. I have attached to this email an article about the use of diclofenac in Asia and Africa, though I will say this article was written in 2008 and is therefore not the most up to date information around but has a good background of the topic. 
 
In 2012, the governments of African countries met in Kenya to discuss the use of veterinary drugs and their effects on vultures. The outcome of this meeting called for the authorities to effectively regulate the import, manufacture, sale and use of poisons, including agricultural chemicals and pharmaceutical products known to be lethal to vultures. However, we have recently tried to assess the use of diclofenac in several countries in North Africa, and while we can see no evidence that it is being used to treat cattle, there is see no evidence that it is not being used either.  We are currently working with our birdlife partners in Africa to raise the profile of the problems associated with the drug and promote the alternative use of meloxiam. Considering your nearest country is Morocco, the organisation that is responsible for looking after birds there is Grepom, also a birdlife partner, http://grepom.org/fr/contact/. You could try contacting them, though their web page is in French, I don’t know if this would be an issue for you.
 
The sanitary and veterinary conditions in Spain are very different to those in the subcontinent of India, which will minimise the exposure of the vultures to carcasses that have been contaminated with diclofenac. Yet both species that are nesting in your area, the Eurasian Griffon Vulture and the Egyptian Vulture, have both seen a decline in numbers in India due to diclofenac, furthermore vultures only need to ingest a very small amount of the drug for it to be lethal. Unfortunately due to the feeding habitats of vultures, gathering around a single carcass, means that the drug can wipe out entire populations very quickly. I would suggest also contacting the SEO/ Birdlife Spain (http://www.seo.org/) they may be able to advise you on the activities and research they are carrying out in your area and how you can get involved with the cause.
 
With regard to lobbying against the drugs companies I would begin with by finding out which companies make the veterinary drugs that are used in Spain, and letting them know of the concerns you and your local group are having. Potentially bring in other local or national wildlife organisations if you can. I would also suggest you try involving some political figures, the more people of prominence that you can voice your concerns to will highlight the problem, especially in your local area.
 
I hope this information helps Paula, and if you would like any more information please do not hesitate to contact us.
 
Thank you
 
Danielle
 
Danielle Meyer
Wildlife Adviser

UK Headquarters The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire SG19 2DL
Tel 01767 693119

rspb.org.uk

Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: John C on May 31, 2014, 11:20 AM
It gets worse ..... recent research indicates diclofenac kills eagles too - see http://www.rspb.org.uk/news/369953-new-study-shows-vulturekilling-drug-kills-eagles-too
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on November 21, 2014, 09:15 AM
Hi All,

Apart from this amazing topic here on  sign which we started way back when pretty much everything you need to know now about this disgusting drug proven to kill vultures in their millions can be found over at the Vulture foundation.... Loads of papers and up to date news...

http://www.4vultures.org/our-work/campaigning-to-ban-diclofenac-in-europe/

Follow them on facebook as well
https://www.facebook.com/vultureconservationfoundation
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on November 25, 2014, 20:01 PM
Write to your MP and get diclofenac usage stopped!

You can download a prepared letter from this webpage.....

http://www.4vultures.org/2014/11/25/vultures-need-you-please-write-to-your-meps-about-veterinary-diclofenac/
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Waste-Dweller on November 25, 2014, 23:46 PM
I'm adding a paragraph about quinolones, the over-use of which is of great concern.
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on November 26, 2014, 08:28 AM
Start a new topic about quinolones Waste Dweller please so that we can all learn :) thanks...
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Waste-Dweller on November 26, 2014, 09:45 AM
Thank you, I will.  :)
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Waste-Dweller on December 04, 2014, 21:35 PM
I haven't had time to read the whole thread, but want to mention that Diclofenac is a NSAID in the highly suspect Cox-2 inhibitor class, like Merck's Vioxx which caused so very many fatal heart attacks, Celebrex, Previcox - which is veterinary Vioxx and still prescribed for animals.. although there are many doctors, vets and researchers who feel that the whole class should be withdrawn. Pharmageddon or wot. Pharmaceutical comapanies are fourth most prosperous trade in the world and the larger ones are also agro-chemical and biotech companies and invloved in a lot of shady business. Bayer kills bees, so why would you tust their so-called medicines? The same applies to all the others pharma-companies.
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on December 06, 2014, 11:54 AM
A lot of information and vary hard work going on at the Vulture Conservation Foundation.

http://www.4vultures.org/2014/12/05/scientific-community-suggest-that-weak-environmental-assessments-of-veterinary-drugs-undermine-regulations-and-can-cause-a-vulture-ecological-disaster/
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on April 05, 2017, 09:49 AM
The latest news about the use of Diclofenac in Spain (and the world) can be found on the Vulture Conservation Council website...

https://www.4vultures.org/our-work/campaigning-to-ban-diclofenac-in-europe/

The VCF has led, in collaboration with many other environmental groups, an international advocacy and communications campaign aiming to ban veterinary diclofenac in Europe.  We will continue to work with our partners to achieve our aim – prevent any risk to Europe´s vultures by eliminating this drug from the food chain. We are now lobbying the EU Commission, and the European Parliament, to address the issue, and take the only sensible and risk-free decision – #banvetdiclofenac!
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on July 05, 2017, 10:04 AM
Sorry, a long post but really important for our vultures here in Spain..... Please follow the link to the dedicated site and add your signature to the petition to ban diclofenac.....  sign (http://www.banvetdiclofenac.com/en/act/)

http://www.birdlife.org/europe-and-central-asia/pr/3-july-2017

BirdLife Europe & Central Asia Press release - 3 July 2017
Five European nature conservation organizations unite to call for a ban on veterinary diclofenac, a drug that kills vultures.
Five European environmental organizations - SEO / BirdLife, SPEA (BirdLife in Portugal), Vulture Conservation Foundation, BirdLife Europe and WWF – are re-launching a campaign to ban veterinary diclofenac in Europe - and in particular in Spain, Italy and Portugal, the three European Union countries where most of the continent's vultures live. This anti-inflammatory drug, harmless to humans, can potentially kill thousands of necrophagous (feeding on corpses) birds and its use is unnecessary, since there are equally effective veterinary alternatives.

The new campaign, featuring a dedicated web site and a petition campaign calling for citizen support (http://www.banvetdiclofenac.com/en/home/) brings together all updated information on the approval, commercialization and risks posed by vet diclofenac in Europe as well as a clear appeal and message for civil society to mobilise and protect Europe’s vultures. Together with the communication tools, the leading organisations will coordinate specific policy and advocacy action at both national and EU level (from veterinary groups and farmer associations to municipalities, regional governments and the European Commission). A video will be launched later in the summer along with follow-up activities at the EU level later in the year.

Birds are exposed to the drug by feeding on the corpses of animals which have previously been treated. Its pernicious effect on vultures was documented on the Indian subcontinent, where the presence of diclofenac in only 1% of the carcasses of abandoned cows in the field led to the near extinction - by 99% - of five species of Vultures: the White-backed vulture, the Red-headed vulture, the Slender-billed vulture, the White-rumped vulture and the Indian vulture. Its use is now banned in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Iran and Pakistan, which has now slowed the decline of necrophagous populations.

Despite this catastrophe, the veterinary use of diclofenac is permitted both by the European Union and by the national governments of Spain and Italy. In Portugal, the authorities are assessing their authorization. Moreover, recently the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Sanitary Products (AEMPS), concluded that each year around 6,000 griffon vultures in the country could die as a result of diclofenac. That means an annual decline of more than 7%.

"Prohibiting the veterinary use of diclofenac is not only a matter of common sense but also a matter of law. The precautionary principle - which requires avoiding unnecessary risks - governs all environmental conservation regulations in Europe. Authorizing a drug with a potential deadly effect on birds that we must protect does not seem to be a measure consistent with this legal requirement," explains Iván Ramírez, Head of Conservation for BirdLife Europe & Central Asia.

Vultures are nature’s clean-up crew. They don’t kill, they eat the flesh of other dead animals, thus helping to reduce the spread of disease and eliminating the need for the treatment and incineration of thousands of tons of animal remains every year, saving us millions of euros in waste management and potential emissions of hundreds of thousands of tons of C02 per year.

Yet they are one of the most threatened bird groups on the planet, with 16 of its 23 species at serious risk of extinction. In this context, Spain has a key role in its conservation, as home to 95% of Europe's black and griffon vultures.
The fate and survival of vultures, such critical species, will depend on the engagement, mobilization and commitment of European citizens and political leadership – the www.banvetdiclofenac.com campaign hopes to ensure that outcome. ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Iván Ramírez
Head of Conservation at Birdlife Europe & Central Asia
Ivan.Ramirez@birdlife.org
Mobile +34 646 477 962
Miguel López Rubio
Press officer at SEO/BirdLife
mlopez@seo.org
Tel. (+34) 914340910 / (+34) 655101884
Notes:
Visit the campaign website http://www.banvetdiclofenac.com/en/home/

BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is a partnership of 48 national conservation organisations and a leader in bird conservation. Our unique local to global approach enables us to deliver high impact and long term conservation for the benefit of nature and people. BirdLife Europe and Central Asia is one of the six regional secretariats that compose BirdLife International. Based in Brussels, it supports the European and Central Asian Partnership and is present in 47 countries including all EU Member States. With more than 4100 staff in Europe, two million members and tens of thousands of skilled volunteers, BirdLife Europe and Central Asia, together with its national partners, owns or manages more than 6000 nature sites totalling 320,000 hectares.
Title: Re: Diclofenac,NSAIDS and the threat to Iberian vultures
Post by: Clive on July 05, 2017, 10:06 AM
Here is the link to add your name to the petition....
http://www.banvetdiclofenac.com/en/act/