LAHORE - WWF-Pakistan has welcomed new restriction on use of toxic veterinary drugs that was posing serious threats to critically endangered vultures in Punjab and Sindh.

The primary cause of decline in vulture population is the ingestion of livestock carcasses containing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), principally diclofenac. Although diclofenac was banned from veterinary use in Pakistan, India and Nepal in 2006, other NSAIDs such as aceclofenac and ketoprofen still pose a major threat to critically endangered vultures. On the request of WWF-Pakistan, the Chief Drug Inspector of Sindh has ordered all regional and district drug inspectors to restrict the use of these drugs. Jamshed Iqbal of WWF-Pakistan said: “NSAIDs such as ketoprofen and aceclofenac have proven to be fatal for Gyps vultures in clinical trials and their restriction in the Sindh will contribute significantly in the survival of the remaining populations of Gyps vultures in Pakistan.”This result is a momentous and positive development for vulture conservation in South Asia. Sindh is a vitally important breeding site for South Asia’s endangered vulture populations.