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Parliamentary questions
16 November 2017
E-007074-17
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Linda McAvan (S&D)

 Subject:  Banning diclofenac
 Answer(s) 

The Commission may remember that in India in the 1990s, the widespread use of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine, diclofenac, in cattle, led to the extinction of 99% of four species of vultures on the Indian subcontinent.

Diclofenac is toxic to vultures which feed on carcasses, and this led to a huge collapse of vulture populations and all sorts of ecological damage, ranging from an increase in feral dogs and rabies to issues with Parsi sky burials, as well as the potential eradication of vulture populations. Eventually it was banned in India, and the vulture population has slowly increased thanks to the commitment of local conservationists.

However, the EU has recently approved the use of dichloride as a cattle treatment in Italy, which could lead to more Member States doing the same. Spain, Portugal and Italy are home to 95% of the European Union’s vultures. Following the use of diclofenac in Asia and the massive use of poison in Africa, we have a responsibility to protect our European populations.

Can the Commission please provide an update on the current situation regarding diclofenac and whether this is an issue that will be explored further?

Last updated: 28 November 2017Legal notice