Lease of life for vultures | india | Hindustan Times
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Lease of life for vultures

After a ten-year struggle, environmentalists and ornithologists in Rajasthan have finally succeeded in clamping a ban on Diclofenac ? the drug responsible for killing vultures over the past few years.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2006 02:02 IST

After a ten-year struggle, environmentalists and ornithologists in Rajasthan have finally succeeded in clamping a ban on Diclofenac — the drug responsible for killing vultures over the past few years.

The drug controller of Rajasthan — in an order dated June 2 — has instructed district chemist associations in the state to take immediate steps for the withdrawal of the drug from the market, while advising that marketing of such formulations should also be phased out with immediate effect. Rajasthan is possibly the first Indian state to have banned the drug.

But the Environment ministry does not appear to be happy with the action taken by the Department of Animal Husbandry to save vultures.

The ministry wants the Drug and Cosmetics Act to be amended so that Diclofenac sodium, is banned in every state.

At a meeting with senior officials of the department on Monday, environment secretary Prodipto Ghosh sought a change in the Act to ban the veterinary drug. Diclofenac can’t be banned as only drugs considered harmful to human beings or animals can be banned under the Act, animal husbandry department officials told Ghosh. Diclofenac, considered good for treatment of animal carcass and a veterinary chemical product cannot be banned under the rules of the Act, a senior government official said.

It has prompted the environment ministry to seek a change in the Act to ensure that veterinary chemicals that might lead to death of birds or any other rare species should be banned.

“Alternatives to Diclofenac are available in the market and the department should not have any problems banning it,” an environment ministry official said.