Experts warn of dangers of veterinary pharmaceuticals to wildlife   5 comments

From:  Phys-org News

Dec 8, 2014 by Lindsay Brooke

Experts from across Europe and the USA are calling for a ‘one health’ approach to the use of veterinary pharmaceuticals (VPs). In advance of a key European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommendation to the European Commission on the use of diclofenac in livestock, they are warning of the dangers that veterinary pharmaceuticals pose to wildlife.

In Spain, the use of the veterinary pharmaceutical diclofenac is placing Europe’s fragile vulture populations at risk, and should be banned, according to a paper published by a team of veterinarians, biologists, and conservationists in the journal Science this week.

Dr Lisa Yon, from The University of Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science is the Chair of the European Wildlife Disease Association (EWDA). She said: “It is clear from the lessons learned on the profound impact of diclofenac on in India that we need to take a more integrated, ‘One Health’ approach to our use of VPs, and the larger impact they have on non-target species, and on the environment. This is and will continue to be an issue of increasing concern for a wide variety of VPs, and one for which there needs to be greater responsibility taken across the range of stakeholders.”

Diclofenac, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, has already been banned for veterinary use in several South Asian countries, but was recently approved for use in Spain and Italy. Traces of diclofenac in livestock carcasses are lethal to vultures who eat them, and contamination of fewer than 1 per cent of dead animals led to the near extinction of three Asian species. Most vultures in Europe are already endangered and thus particularly vulnerable to this threat.

The paper, One Health approach to use of veterinary pharmaceuticals, argues that as the world’s consumption of meat continues to rise, we must take a holistic approach to assessing the impacts of VPs that accounts for all environmental effects, including contamination of the natural food chain.

This month, the EMA is expected to release a recommendation to the European Commission on the future veterinary use of diclofenac in Europe. While diclofenac is not currently licensed for veterinary use in most European Union countries, Spain authorized marketing of diclofenac as a veterinary pharmaceutical for use in cattle, pigs and horses in 2013. The paper makes a strong argument for the implementation of an EU-wide ban.

 

5 responses to “Experts warn of dangers of veterinary pharmaceuticals to wildlife

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  1. Reblogga detta på spiritandanimal.wordpress.com.

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