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Wednesday
June, 19

Centre prohibits production, distribution of two drugs toxic for vultures

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In a welcome move to the country’s vulture population, the Union Health Ministry has stopped the veterinary use of aceclofenac and ketoprofen and its formulations, with immediate effect.

These are two of the three “vuture-toxic” drugs that conservationists have been seeking a ban on. The third drug is nimesulide.

About 16 years ago, India had banned the veterinary use of diclofenac, as it was found to be toxic for vultures. More recently, conservationists had approached the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on the other three drugs as well, to take it up with the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI). A public interest litigation was also filed on the issue in the Delhi High Court.

On July 31, the Health Ministry issued a notification prohibiting the production and distribution of the two drugs, because of the risk it posed to animals and because safe alternatives are available. Conservationists mention meloxicam and tolfenamic acid as the safe alternatives.





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