November 2015: 5th SAVE meeting held in Kathmandu: updated priorities agreed

The Fifth annual SAVE meeting was hosted by BCN and NTNC in Kathmandu at Hotel Grand Norling Resort 18-19 November. Despite an earthquake (5.2) on the second day when we all hurriedly vacated the building, the meeting otherwise went smoothly and all five SAVE countries were represented by the SAVE partner organisations. The SAVE priorities were updated at the meeting (see below) and the full report with the updated Blueprint will be posted here on the website in the coming weeks.

For the first time, the SAVE meeting was aligned with the Regional Steering Committee meeting which is now co-chaired by the Nepal Government. This was held on 20th November.

SAVE priorities for Asian vulture conservation for 2016
•Veterinary licenses to be withdrawn for two drugs – ketoprofen and aceclofenac – based on the good existing evidence that they are unsafe for vultures.
•An effective system of regulation of veterinary drugs, based upon safety-testing on vultures (protocol already agreed for India) initiated and underway for all current painkillers (NSAIDs) and for all potential new ones entering veterinary practice. Evaluate the safety of nimesulide.
•Identifying additional vulture safe NSAIDs (alternatives for the vets).
•Communicating the recent multidose ban of diclofenac to relevant authorities and stakeholders (India).
•Major efforts urgently needed within South Asia to address the immediate and increasing gap in funding for vulture conservation which now jeopardises the programme.
•Promotion of network and approach of ‘Vulture Safe Zones’ across South Asia with expansion to include trans-boundary cooperative efforts.
•Maintain and support the existing vulture conservation breeding programmes throughout South Asia.
•Safe environment for first soft releases of captive bred vultures at identified sites (100km radius) in Nepal and India by 2016.
•Improved availability of well formulated meloxicam products thereby facilitating their popularity with veterinary practitioners.
•Link SAVE activities and meetings to closely support the ‘Regional Steering Committee’ and National Vulture Recovery Committees to facilitate the urgent implementation of the 2012 Delhi Regional Agreement.

Our thanks to ‘Prokriti O Jibon’ of Bangladesh – for the 3 minute coverage of the SAVE meeting and its outputs on national TV in Bangladesh.

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