1 Tahrcountry Musings: Pain killer endangering the survival of vultures

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Pain killer endangering the survival of vultures

There is disturbing news for vultures in India. A study, led by Dr Deborah Pain on behalf of the British Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, published in Biology Letters, is pointing accusing finger at the drug Diclofenac. Diclofenac used to treat inflammation in cattle has been blamed, for the rapid decline of Indian vulture populations. The drug is destroying the kidneys of birds feeding off carcasses of dead, treated animals. The researchers fear that more distantly related birds may be equally endangered, and that substitutes for diclofenac might be similarly toxic. Disappearance of vultures, the scavengers, could damage the quality of the environment.

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