Vultures get a chance as apex regulatory body suggests ban on two drugs

The DTAB also recommended of the constitution of a committee to draw up a list of drugs that impact animal health and the environment. 
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

NEW DELHI: The drug regulatory authority has finally recommended banning two non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) but was silent on a third, all of which are toxic to vultures. 

In February, this newspaper had reported how these drugs impact vulture conservation in a big way. India’s vultures population plunged from as much as 4 crores to just 19,000 in over three decades because of the rampant use of NSAIDs.

The Drugs Technical Advisory Board (DTAB), the apex decision-making body on technical matters, recommended banning the manufacture, sale and distribution of Ketoprofen and Aceclofenac in its 89th meeting last month. The minutes of the meeting became public on Saturday.

The two drugs are widely used for livestock treatment. However, it was silent on another NSAID, Nimesulide.

The DTAB also recommended the constitution of a committee to draw up a list of drugs that impact animal health and the environment. 

Last year, Gaurav Bansal, a Delhi-based lawyer and RTI activist, had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court demanding a ban on the three NSAIDs. Its next hearing is scheduled on July 25. “I consider the recommendation of banning two NSAIDs as a big victory for conservation of vultures in India,” said Bansal. 

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