(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency) Amman, Apr. 28 (Petra) -- The Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature (RSCN) on Wednesday urged the ministries of agriculture and environment to ban the use of veterinary diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent and painkiller, citing risks to biodiversity in the Kingdom.
Exposure of carrion-eaters (carcass-eating birds), particularly vultures, to diclofenac is likely to arise from the consumption of livestock carcasses that have been treated shortly before death, Director of the RSCN's Bird Project Department Tariq Qaneer told Petra.
He further explained that when these birds feed on the carcasses of animals that were treated with this drug shortly before death, they will suffer from kidney failure associated with visceral gout, and then the birds die within one to two days from exposure.
Qaneer indicated that Jordan recorded three subspecies of vultures, including two migratory birds and one endemic to the Kingdom, which is the Griffon vulture, one of Jordan's rarest bird species. However, the vulture is now under the threat of extinction here and beyond the region.
He pointed out that the drug is widely used here in the Kingdom to treat livestock and camels and is sold under many brand names.
Walid al-Saleh, a veterinarian, suggested safe alternative veterinary anti-inflammatory, namely: meloxicam, a drug recommended as a suitable alternative instead of diclofenac. Meloxicam is a safe and effective drug for a variety of livestock species, as well as pets, including dogs and cats, he added.
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