Diclofenac, a veterinary anti-flammatory drug used in domestic animals, has proved in the past to be extremely hazardous for vultures. As the drug stays in an animal after it has died, vultures are at great risk if they eat the contaminated carcass. According to estimates, the use of this drug has contributed to the extreme decline of some 99% of vulture populations in the Indian subcontinent. India has banned the use of this drug.
Despite this, Diclofenac has been authorised for use in both Italy and Spain, where about 80% of Europe’s vultures are to be found. The EU birds directive lays down an obligation to conservation as regards vultures.
Is the Commission aware of the hazards posed by this veterinary drug?
In the light of the above, what actions does the Commission intend to take to ensure that the requirements of the EU birds directive are met in this respect?