Rare European vultures being poisoned by livestock drug
Diclofenac was approved in Spain and Italy despite being banned in Asia after it had wiped out millions of birds
A recently approved veterinary drug has been confirmed as the cause of death of a vulture in Spain. Conservationists say the incident could be the tip of an iceberg, and warn that the drug could wipe out many of Europe’s vultures as well as harming related species, including golden eagles.
The anti-inflammatory agent diclofenac has already been banned in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh after it was found to kill vultures that ate the carcasses of cattle treated with the drug. Tens of millions of vultures are believed to have died in this way with some species declining by a staggering 99.9% in parts of south Asia.