(Contributed by A.B.M. Sarowar Alam (Dipu) – IUCN Bangladesh)
Excellent news from Dhaka: the Bangladesh Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) declared the ban of ketoprofen in the two Vulture Safe Zones (VSZs), that is 25% of the country. The DGDA issued letters ordering all the manufacturers of ketoprofen to refrain from selling, distributing, storing and exhibiting the drug in the VSZs. This decision comes after the 5th meeting of the Bangladesh National Vulture Conservation Committee held on the 12 January.
This is the second vulture toxic drug to be banned in Bangladesh after diclofenac in 2010. This decision comes as a cumulative result of two years of extensive groundwork done for vulture conservation in the country, and highlighted by the SAVE Partnership. After the world’s first ever government approved Vulture Safe Zones were declared in Bangladesh in 2014, IUCN Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Forest Department and the Ministry of Environment and Forest have worked in collaboration to make this important further step a reality.
The decision is warmly applauded by SAVE and conservationists worldwide as an exemplary initiative which we hope will be the lead for a full national ban, and for neighbouring countries to follow. Other developments include the approval of the Bangladesh National Vulture Conservation Action Plan (which will be made available here shortly) for the long term conservation of vulture species and the construction of a new rescue center in the Northern part of Bangladesh.