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Vultures in India. INDIA PROJECT FOR ANIMALS AND NATURE. Summary. The Indian Vulture species have suffered a 99%–97% population decrease in Pakistan and India The cause of this has been identified as poisoning caused by the veterinary drug diclofenac

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Vultures in India

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vultures in india
Vultures in India


  • The Indian Vulture species have suffered a 99%–97% population decrease in Pakistan and India
  • The cause of this has been identified as poisoning caused by the veterinary drug diclofenac
  • Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and when given to working /dairy animals it can reduce joint pain / other painful conditions, fever and so keep them working for longer.
  • The drug is ingested by vultures with the flesh of dead cattle which were given diclofenac in the last days of life.
  • Diclofenac causes kidney failure in several species of Vultures.
  • In March 2005 the Indian Government announced its support for a ban on the veterinary use of diclofenac.
  • Another NSAID, meloxicam, has been found to be harmless to vultures and should prove to be an acceptable substitute for diclofenac.
  • When meloxicam production is increased it is hoped that it will be as cheap as diclofenac.
  • As of August 2011 the ban for veterinary use has been in place for approximately a year but diclofenac is still being used for animals throughout India

1. Ban diclofenac

  • Use meloxicam instead

2. Proper disposal of carcasses

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, “pain-killer”
  • EASILY available in India
  • Registered for veterinary use and widely used in small & large animal practice in western countries
  • Safe for vultures
meloxicam 20mg ml
  • For large animal use
  • Dose for cattle 0.5mg/kg (2.5ml/100kg)
    • 300kg cow needs 7.5ml
    • 400kg cow needs 10ml
  • 30ml and 100ml bottles available (injection)
meloxicam 5mg ml
  • For small animal use
  • If used for cattle, dose remains the same 0.5mg/kg but the REQUIRED VOLUME is higher because the strength of the drug as (mg/ml) is less
  • 400kg cow needs 40ml
  • Practical only for small animals use
other alternatives



Flunixin meglumin

disposal of carcasses
Disposal of carcasses
  • Not allowed to be slaughtered/milk to be consumed during certain number of days after medication
  • To protect public health
  • Even when cattle is not slaughtered for human consumption the same logic about the importance of withdrawal periods need to be understood
  • After medicating animals they are not fit to be consumed by people nor by vultures/other animals until certain time has passed.
  • This withdrawal time varies between medicines.
disposal of carcasses1
Disposal of carcasses

Animals that die of any disease (death due to anything else than a predator attack) need to be properly disposed (buried deep/burned)




disposal of carcasses2
Disposal of carcasses
  • Burying
    • At least 6 feet deep and treated with lime
    • The location should be at least 100 feet from any property boundary or surface water, 200 feet from a private or community water supply, and 400 feet from a municipal water supply.
    • The buried material shall be placed at least 4 feet above the seasonal high water table and bedrock.
    • The carcasses shall be covered with at least 3 feet of clean fill immediately following placement in the ground.

 Role of the local government bodies in the arrangement of the disposal???

  • Burning
    • Need lot of firewood