Vultures are essential to the health and well-being of ecosystems around the world. It is clear from the cases of India, Nepal and Pakistan that the main contributory factor causing a 99.9% decline in many vulture species is the use of diclofenac on domestic livestock. The drug has since been banned in these countries.
Following the recent licensing of veterinary diclofenac for livestock farming in Spain and Italy, has the Commission examined the potential impact of the drug on the European vulture population?
Given that the EU and its Member States have a legal obligation to conserve vultures under the EU Birds Directive and EU veterinary drugs legislation, and the fact that Europe is home to four rare vulture species, what measures are being taken to protect these species in relation to the new authorisation?
Bearing in mind that the substance has been listed by the Commission as one of the ‘priority substances’ in the field of water policy, can the Commission clarify whether less harmful alternative substances, such as meloxicam, have been considered for use on domestic livestock?