MAHENDRANAGAR, Jan 18: The rampant use of diclofenac and ketoprofen is putting vultures here on the verge of extinction, according to a study.
The study conducted by Nepal Bird Conservation Association says vultures are dying after consuming carcasses of cattle that were treated with diclofenac when alive.
The study says that diclofenac use has reduced the population of vultures by 99 percent in Nepal and India.
The association has initiated a campaign in 10 districts in the tarai to raise awareness for vulture conservation and to ban the use of diclofenac and ketoprofen. The campaign has been initiated in districts including Kanchanpur, Kailali, Bardiya, Chitwan and Nawalparasi, among others, according to veterinarian Dr Surya Poudel of the association.
“Conservation of vultures is necessary to maintain biodiversity,” said Dr Poudel. “Vultures are natural cleaners as they keep the environment clean,” he added.
While diclofenac has been used in Nepal for decaces, ketoprofen, which is also contributing to reducing vulture population, has also been used in recent times. The production and distribution of both these medicines has been banned in Nepal and India. However, their use continues through illegal channels.