State Governments in collaboration with BNHS have called two important meetings. Haryana Forest Department called a meeting together with neighbouring states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, to progress plans to clear the 100km radius around the planned release site in Haryana of toxic veterinary drugs. Engagement of the drug authorities and animal husbandry departments was significant at the meeting and the order for satellite tags for the released birds is underway.
The second meeting, was called by the West Bengal Forest Department, also with BNHS – but spanned three days near Siliguri, and involved the neighbouring states of Assam, Meghalaya and Madhya Pradesh.
Both meetings were attended by Vibhu Prakash and team from BNHS, and by senior Indian Veterinary Research Institute researchers, with updates on the safety testing a key part of deliberations. The Inspector General Wildlife from Federal Government, Mr S Dasgupta, as well as Chris Bowden of SAVE and RSPB also attended the second meeting and the growing commitment of state and Federal Government to the vulture programme was evident at both meetings. The 7th West Bengal Vultures Governing Council meeting was called by Buxa Tiger Reserve Field Director, and this was also held during the three days to further plan ahead at a state level.