New Delhi: Keeping in view the severity of the situation and the need to conserve and protect vultures from extinction, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has requested the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to restrict the pack of Diclofenac for human use in single dose only. Earlier, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, published a Gazette notification no G.S.R 558 (E) dated 17th July, 2015, regarding the restriction on packaging of multi-dose vial of Diclofenac to single dose for human use. Even after banning the use of Diclofenac for veterinary use, the multi-dose vials available in the market for human use were widely misused for veterinary purpose. This, in turn, has a severe impact on the population of vultures.
The commonly-used anti-inflammatory drug for cattle is considered the chief cause for the steep decline in the number of vultures in recent years. The drug is harmless to the cattle it is administered to, but is fatal for the vultures, who routinely feed on the carcass of dead cattle. Studies have shown that the drug causes kidney and liver failure in vultures.
Earlier, in 2006, the Government of India had imposed a ban on the use of Diclofenac for treating cattle.