Concerned at the effect of the anti-inflammatory drug Dicolofenec on the country's vulture population, the Drug Controller General has decided to withdraw licences for manufacturing it for veterinary use .
At a press meet here today, the director of the prominent NGO Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Asad R Rahmani, presented a copy of Drug Controller General Ashwini Kumar's May 11 circular to all state drugs controllers to this effect.
The circular said with the approval of the Health Mministry, the licences granted for making Diclofenec for veterinary use should be withdrawn and the marketing of such formulations phased out within a period of three months.
Stating that serious concern had been expressed over the decline of the vulture population, the circular said extensive studies had indicated the use of Diclofenec among livestock was a major cause for this.
Expressing concern at the fall in the vulture population, Rahmani said his organisation had been urging the Centre to ban the drug for veterinary use.
Vultures are exposed to Diclofenec when they eat the carcasses of livestock treated with the drug before death, resulting in poisoning of the birds and their death because of kidney failure, the circular said.
It was, therefore, felt Diclofenec for veterinary use should be phased out and alternate safer and effective drugs like Meloxicam should be used for treating animals in veterinary healthcare.
This will help in saving the vulture population and the ecological balance in the animal world, Kumar said.