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Taking cue from Centre and State bans drug to save vultures Use of Ketoprofen to be discontinued

Taking cue from Centre and State bans drug to save
vultures Use of Ketoprofen to be discontinued 
After a ban on multi-vial drugs of Diclofenac by the Centre, now the State government has withdrawn Ketoprofen, a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) used extensively for veterinary purposes to save the vulture population in the three western districts. Despite the first batch of the drug being supplied to all the districts beginning May 2015, the Directorate of Animal Husbandry has decided to discontinue the use of Ketoprofen in Erode, Coimbatore and The Nilgiris, where the vulture population was in danger, sources say. The drug was included in the procurement list of the Animal Husbandry Department in 2014-15. Totally, 25,730 vials of Ketoprofen were supplied to all the districts, of which 2,190 vials were supplied to the three western districts.
The State government had included Ketoprofen based on an effort to identify an alternative to the banned drug Diclofenac. The Centre had banned Diclofenac multi-vial doses after wildlife biologists proved that presence of the drug in the carcasses of the cattle caused the vulture population to dwindle drastically. Vultures act as scavengers, preying on dead animals and Diclofenac in carcasses led to slow death of vultures. Wildlife activists said that Ketoprofen, which came as an alternative, caused the same effect on the vulture population. After reviewing the research work by wildlife scientists, the government decided to stop use of Ketoprofen immediately in the districts of Erode, Coimbatore and The Nilgiris where the activists see an opportunity of revival of the vulture population. Further use of Ketoprofen will be discontinued for veterinary purposes in the entire State. Meloxicam, an alternative drug, is currently included in the drug list and will be inducted in higher quantity to replace Ketoprofen completely in the State sources say. The Animal Husbandry Directorate has instructed the Regional Joint Directors to advise the field veterinarians to strictly adhere to the exact dosage regimen of Ketoprofen 3 mg while treating the animals and also advise the cattle owners to follow the withdrawal period of seven days while disposing them of for slaughter.

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