Cambodia bans veterinary drug Diclofenac to save vultures

Fantastic news for Asia's Critically Endangered vultures! Following tireless advocacy from NGOs including BirdLife, the Cambodian government has banned the veterinary use of Diclofenac: a drug used as a painkiller for cattle, but deadly to vultures.

The Government of Cambodia has banned the veterinary sale and use of diclofenac in the country with immediate effect. The Government has taken this measure to safeguard the remaining Cambodian vulture population, which is declining and threatened with extinction.

“Diclofenac, whilst harmless to cattle and other livestock, results in death of vultures if they feed on a carcass of an animal previously treated with this drug,” said Dr. Julia Stenkat, resident veterinarian of the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity. All vulture species occurring in the country are protected under Cambodian law. This precautionary measure by the Government of Cambodia will reduce the risk of accidental diclofenac poisoning, although the risk of poisoning from other agricultural chemicals like carbofuran remains an ever-present danger to Cambodia’s declining vultures.

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