Tamil Nadu state government has banned Ketoprofen, a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) to save critically endangered vulture population in the state.
This drug has been banned in the three western districts of state viz in Erode, Coimbatore and Nilgiris where the vulture population is in danger.
Ketoprofen is extensively used for veterinary purposes and as an alternative to banned veterinary painkiller Diclofenac. It is believed that Ketoprofen causes same effect on the vulture population caused by Diclofenac.
Deadly effects of Diclofenac on Vultures
- Vultures act as scavengers, preying on dead animals as they have a robust digestive system which can even digest disease-causing pathogens found in rotting meat of dead.
- But they are not able to break down Diclofenac and die of renal failure or kidney after eating carcasses of cattle administered drug.
- Meloxicam is an alternative drug which can be used instead of Diclofenac and Ketoprofen.
Earlier in 2006, Union Government had banned the use of veterinary drug Diclofenac for treating cattle and in September 2015 its sale in multi-dose vial was banned for human use.