Environment Ministry Recommends Ban on Multidose Diclofenac to Save Vultures

Ministry of Health and Family
Ministry of Health and Family

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has banned the sale of Diclofenac in multidose vial, based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. It will now be sold only in single-dose vial packaging. Keeping in view the severity of the situation and the need to conserve and protect vultures from extinction, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has requested the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to restrict the pack of Diclofenac for human use in single dose only.

Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, in consultation with Environment, Forest and Climate Change, published a Gazette notification no G.S.R 558 (E) dated 17th July, 2015, regarding the restriction on packaging of multi-dose vial of Diclofenac to single dose for human use.

ARKive image GES123206 - Asian white-backed vulture

Even after banning the use of Diclofenac for veterinary use, the multi-dose vials available in the market for human use were widely misused for veterinary purpose. This, in turn, has a severe impact on the population of vultures.

The commonly-used anti-inflammatory drug for cattle is considered the chief cause for the steep decline in the number of vultures in recent years. The drug is harmless to the cattle it is administered to, but is fatal for the vultures, who routinely feed on the carcass of dead cattle. Studies have shown that the drug causes kidney and liver failure in vultures. Earlier, in 2006, the Government of India had imposed a ban on the use of Diclofenac for treating cattle.

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IndianBureaucracy.com hopes that the vulture population is restored keeping in mind their significant contribution in cleaning carcasses and stopping diseases from spreading.

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