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Dhaka Tribune

Minister: Bangladesh ahead of everyone in Asia in protecting vultures

The government banned the use of diclofenac, a pain reliever administered to cattle that cause the death of vultures

Update : 03 Sep 2022, 08:19 PM

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md Shahab Uddin has said Bangladesh is ahead of all Asian countries in doing what it takes to protect vultures, iconic birds of prey that are facing a countdown clock to extinction.

Vultures are highly skilled scavengers and often descend on a single carcass. However, their impressive ability to locate their meal also means that a single poisoned carcass can kill multiple birds, and poisoning is the main reason for the group's catastrophic decline.

The government banned the use of diclofenac, a pain reliever administered to cattle, in 2010. 

Vultures feeding on cattle carcasses used to die extremely painful deaths as the drug entered their system.

Drugs such as nimesulide, aceclofenac and ketoprofen, which were meant to be alternatives to diclofenac, can also cause problems to the birds.

So, the government banned the use of ketoprofen.

"After that, the use of the safer drugs meloxicam and tolfenamic acid started to increase, a big step in the protection of vultures," Shahab said.

The minister was speaking at a discussion on International Vulture Awareness Day 2022 in Dhaka Saturday.

Shahab said the formation of the Bangladesh National Vulture Conservation Committee, the official declaration of two vulture safe zones and the ten-year (2016-2025) Bangladesh Vulture Conservation Action Plan are serving as a long-term framework for protecting Bangladesh's vultures.

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