Evidence for the toxicity to vultures of NSAIDs other than diclofenac

The common and widespread veterinary use of diclofenac in past decades was the main cause of vulture declines in South Asia. However, diclofenac is not the only vulture-toxic Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drug (NSAID) in use and thereby killing vultures.
Now that diclofenac is banned in South Asia and its veterinary use greatly reduced in the region, other vulture-toxic NSAIDs are competing with meloxicam and tolfenamic acid for the former market share of diclofenac. These pose a real threat to the recovery of Asia’s Critically Endangered vultures.


We have evidence for the toxicity to vultures of six NSAIDs other than diclofenac, namely: aceclofenac, carprofen, flunixin, ketoprofen, nimesulide and phenylbutazone.

This evidence is presented in the summaries below, and we hope that these documents will assist decision makers in bringing about bans on all vulture-toxic NSAIDs in South Asia to allow vulture populations to recover.

Meloxicam and tolfenamic acid are the only known vulture-safe NSAIDs.


Steps for banning veterinary drugs in India, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Cambodia - progress so far

SAVE accords a very high priority to achieving bans on veterinary use of NSAIDs that have been proven to be toxic to vultures. The bans on veterinary use of diclofenac in 2006 in India, Nepal and Pakistan and in 2010 in Bangladesh were important steps and were enacted by the Governments with commendable speed. However, we know that further such steps are urgently needed to ban veterinary use of other NSAIDs toxic to vultures. Achieving such bans in the near future is vital. Some progress with this is being made in India, and in Bangladesh there has been great progress with the national ketoprofen ban.

Here is list the steps for achieving NSAID bans in the following countries. We welcome feedback on these documents.

Steps documents for India :

Steps documents for Bangladesh :

Steps documents for Pakistan

Steps documents for Myanmar :

Steps documents for Cambodia :


SAVE acknowledges Vibhu Prakash, ABM Sarowar Dipu, Jamshed Chaudhry, Myanmar Vulture Working Group, Ny Naiky & Chris Bowden for compiling this information