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Decline in vulture population: Delhi HC urges for ban on Aceclofenac, Ketoprofen for veterinary use

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The Delhi High Court has asked the Central government on Friday to take the needed measures for saving the population of vultures in India save the as they form an integral and important role in the food chain. They also maintain the environment.

A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla questioned the Government to review  the request made by the National Vulture Recovery Committee to ban “Aceclofenac” and “Ketoprofen” for veterinary uses as these drugs are toxic and for vultures they are all the more dangerous.

A petition was filed in the court by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal who submitted to the court that the population of certain species of vultures has gone down badly and only 10 percent are still alive.

Central Government was issued notice along with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, National Biodiversity Authority and Indian Veterinary Research Institute directing them for filing the response on the same within four weeks.

The case will now be considered on August 24.

A survey was conducted by the Bombay Natural History Society (Member of National Vulture Recovery Committee, Government of India) in the whole country in 90s and then in 2000 in which the picture showed that the population of Oriental White Backed Vulture and Long Billed Vultures had declined by more than 92 percent in this period.

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought response from the Centre, National Biodiversity Authority, Bombay Natural History Society and Indian Veterinary Research Institute upon a plea seeking protection and conservation of vultures in the country.

The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla while issuing notice, directed the Centre to examine the aspects raised in the petition and to take necessary measures as are called for to save the vultures which are an important link in the food chain and are essential for maintaining the environment.

During the course of hearing, Advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, who is the petitioner-in-person, drew the attention of the Bench to a report prepared by the National Vulture Recovery Committee in October 2016 which recommended banning for veterinary use of two Non-Steroidical Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), namely Aceclofenac & Ketoprofen, which have been found to be toxic to vultures.

The matter is slated for August 24, 2022.

The public interest litigation raises issue with regard to conservation of resident species of vultures in the country which have been listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since the year 2002.

In addition, it also sought for constitution of a Monitoring Committee to check and supervise that Toxic NSAIDs are not in use in open market.

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