February 2019: New diclofenac threat discovered in Cambodia AND Myanmar

Reports at this year’s annual SAVE meeting from both Cambodia AND Myanmar, show that large dose, veterinary formulations of diclofenac are freely available on the open market. Up to now, there has been no perceived threat of veterinary diclofenac use in either country, but work by Cambodia Vulture Working Group and by the newly formed Myanmar Vulture Working Group 2018 has brought this new threat to our attention.

In Cambodia, there are already efforts in process by the SAVE Partners and supported by relevant Cambodian government focal departments to get a veterinary ban in place as soon as possible, as is the case in all of the neighbouring South Asian countries. The products were in both cases manufactured in Vietnam. Cambodia Vulture Working Group is waiting for comments from Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Fishery after submitting a report about the negative impact of diclofenac on vultures and recommending safe alternative veterinary drugs such as meloxicam.

In Myanmar, where veterinary diclofenac vials have been found on the open market, there is little information available on any other similar drugs, but some meloxicam has been reported. There are plans for undercover surveys across Myanmar this year which will further clarify the extent of this threat. These activities are expected to form part of the Myanmar Vulture Working Group’s updated Vulture conservation action plan, which will be developed with close involvement of the Myanmar Forest Department and other relevant governments.

Our thanks to Cambodia Vulture Working Group & Myanmar Vulture Working Group for supplying this information.

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