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Sunday, 28 October 2018

Which pain killer given to cattle is responsible for near extinction of vultures in India?

  By GK Planet Team       Sunday, 28 October 2018
Q. Which painkiller given to cattle is responsible for near extinction of vultures in India?
  1. Ibuprofen
  2. Acetaminophen
  3. Asprin
  4. Diclofenac
Answer: Diclofenac

Diclofenac (sold under a number of trade names) is a potent nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) taken or applied to reduce inflammation and as an analgesic reducing pain in certain conditions. It is supplied as or contained in medications under a variety of trade names.
Use of diclofenac for animals is controversial due to toxicity when eaten by scavenging birds that eat dead animals; the drug has been banned for veterinary use in many countries.

Use of diclofenac in animals has been reported to have led to a sharp decline in the vulture population in the Indian subcontinent – a 95% decline by 2003 and a 99.9% decline by 2008. The mechanism is presumed to be renal failure; however, toxicity may be due to direct inhibition of uric acid secretion in vultures. Vultures eat the carcasses of livestock that have been administered veterinary diclofenac and are poisoned by the accumulated chemical, as vultures do not have a particular enzyme to break down diclofenac. At a meeting of the National Wildlife Board in March 2005, the Government of India announced it intended to phase out the veterinary use of diclofenac. Meloxicam is a safer candidate to replace use of diclofenac. It is more expensive than diclofenac, but the price is coming down as more drug companies begin to manufacture it.

Steppe eagles have the same vulnerability to diclofenac as vultures and may also fall victim to it. Diclofenac has been shown also to harm freshwater fish species such as rainbow trout. In contrast, New World vultures, such as the turkey vulture, can tolerate at least 100 times the level of diclofenac that is lethal to Gyps species.
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