Good vulture news from Iran


This video says about itself:

21 April 2014

The Vulture Conservation Foundation has been at the forefront of the campaign to ban diclofenac in Europe. Ever since we were alerted for the legal marketing of this drug in Italy and Spain in late 2013, the VCF has researched the situation, established the current state of play, and promoted the building of a coalition of like-minded organisations to fight together this threat (Birdlife International, SEO/BirdLife, LIPU, the RSPB and the IUCN Vulture Specialist Group).

Diclofenac is extremely lethal to vultures, and has caused a 99% decline in several vulture species in the Indian subcontinent. This veterinary drug has been now banned from 4 countries in South Asia, only to reappear legally in Europe. This is probably the most significant threat to Europe’s vultures — whose populations have been steadily recovering following considerable investment by the EU, national governments and organisations like the VCF.

There are alternatives readily available to vet diclofenac, so we must learn from the Indian example, and STOP this drug before it is too late for Europe’s vultures. The VCF wants to see a total ban on diclofenac in the EU.

From BirdLife:

Veterinary diclofenac now completely banned in Iran

By Julien Jreissati, Mon, 19/10/2015 – 11:50

The Iranian Department of Environment has officially banned the export, import, production and veterinary use of diclofenac in the country.

“Iran’s decision to ban diclofenac is a major step to protect vultures in the African-Eurasian region. It is a clear demonstration of the country’s concern for and leadership on the conservation of migratory birds of prey. Other countries should follow Iran’s lead and that of the other countries such as India, Pakistan and Nepal that have also banned diclofenac”, said Lyle Glowka, Executive Coordinator, CMS Office – Abu Dhabi.

This significant decision was announced during the 2nd Meeting of Signatories to the Convention on Migratory Species Raptors MoU, which Iran signed in March 2015.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the last remaining major strongholds in the Middle East region for the rapidly declining and endangered Egyptian Vulture. It hosts around 60% of the migratory birds of prey species covered by the Raptors MoU.

The complete ban of diclofenac by the Iranian government was welcomed by the Signatories to the Raptors MoU and by BirdLife International. Its action will reinforce the ongoing international battle to prevent the extinction of vultures and other birds of prey in the region. This achievement was made possible by close cooperation between the Department of Environment, the Iran Veterinary Organization, and the Tarlan Ornithology Group.

Ibrahim Khader, Regional Director of the BirdLife Middle East Partnership secretariat expressed his satisfaction, “this very important achievement by the Islamic Republic of Iran, is an example to follow for governments in other vulture range states. This we hope will reduce the mortality rate of vultures and other large raptors in the region and will give a better chance for these key species to survive extinction and slowly thrive again.”

Diclofenac is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug whose veterinary use to treat livestock has been the main cause of the decline of several species of vultures around the world. Vultures are scavengers, often referred to as nature’s “garbage collector”, meaning that they feast on rotting carcasses keeping the environment free from disease. Unfortunately, vultures that feed on animal carcasses recently treated with diclofenac die from renal failure within few days.

Diclofenac has been a major cause of concern in many parts of the world. In South Asia, the populations of three species of vultures (White-rumped Vulture, Long-billed Vulture, and Slender-billed Vulture) have declined by more than 99% since the 1990’s due to the wide veterinary use of diclofenac. However, following a public campaign from the BirdLife Partnership, veterinary diclofenac was completely banned in India, Nepal and Pakistan in 2006. As a result, vulture populations have begun to stabilize although their levels remain low and vulnerable.

In 2013, despite the gruesome Asian experience veterinary diclofenac was made legal in several European countries, such as Spain that notably is home to 95% of the European vulture populations. Because of the threat posed the Convention on Migratory Species Secretariat and BirdLife International have called for the European Union to ban diclofenac.

The CMS Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation of Migratory Birds of Prey in Africa and Eurasia (Raptors MOU) aims to promote internationally coordinated actions to achieve and maintain the favourable conservation status of migratory birds of prey throughout their range in the African-Eurasian region, and to reverse their decline when and where appropriate.

Algeria has the largest population of the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) in the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya), and the species is still well represented in several Algerian regions: here.

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