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Business News/ Science / News/  Govt may ban two vet drugs to save vultures
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Govt may ban two vet drugs to save vultures

According to a representation made to the government, the two drugs are harmful for cattle, as well as kill vultures, if they eat the carcass of the dead animals, leading to ecological imbalance.

After careful deliberation, DTAB reached a consensus to impose a ban on the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac, as well as respective formulations intended for animal use (AFP)Premium
After careful deliberation, DTAB reached a consensus to impose a ban on the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac, as well as respective formulations intended for animal use (AFP)

NEW DELHI:In a move to protect vultures, the government is contemplating a ban on Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac, two pain-relieving veterinary drugs used to treat livestock.

According to a representation made to the government, the two drugs are harmful for cattle, as well as kill vultures, if they eat the carcass of the dead animals, leading to ecological imbalance. This was discussed during the 89th meeting of the Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), which operates under the Central Drugs Control Standard Organization (CDCSO).

The ministry of health had earlier sought an opinion from Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) and the ministry of agriculture to arrive at a decision regarding this proposal. This matter was recently discussed at the 89th meeting of Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), which operates under CDCSO.

After careful deliberation, DTAB reached a consensus to impose a ban on the manufacturing, sale, and distribution of Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac, as well as respective formulations intended for animal use. “Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac in cattle is equally toxic as Diclofenac and can kill vultures. Study showed that Aceclofenac was rapidly metabolized to Diclofenac. Ketoprofen is toxic to Gyps vultures," according to the minutes of meeting.

The matter was examined in consultation with the experts and it was recommended to ban the drugs for treatment of livestock to conserve vultures, it added.

Queries to a health ministry spokesperson and Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) did not elicit any response till press time.

“Diclofenac was used as a pain killer in animals like cows and buffaloes. It used to create toxicity in them, subsequently, the drug was banned for animal use. Later, newer molecules appeared in the market in the form of Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac. These drugs are being irrationally used in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab and there is no regulation to stop the misuse of these drugs. Besides, there is no proper disposal mechanism of dead animals, and they are left in the open on the outskirts of villages. So, when these animals die, they are eaten by scavenger birds like vultures. We have seen that it increases the uric acid levels in vultures and they die due to kidney failure. This has created a lot of ecological imbalances," said a senior doctor of Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), requesting anonymity.

The board is also examining other drugs that affect animal health and environment and will take appropriate action, if necessary.

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Published: 02 Jul 2023, 10:35 PM IST
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