In South Asia, it's cattle vs. vultures

Substitute for cattle drug that has nearly wiped out Asian vultures presents new options, new conflicts between conservationists, drug manufacturers, and gov't

Ishani Ganguli
Apr 17, 2006
Conservationists, drug manufacturers, and South Asian governments have clashed over whether to ban a commonly-used cattle drug ever since research emerged showing that the drug kills vultures that feed on carcasses, bringing three species to the brink of extinction in South Asia. Now, a recent report suggests that a substitute for the drug appears to be safe for vultures, and the Indian National Wildlife Board, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, plans to meet this month to discuss a possible ban of the cattle medicine."Because the vultures are declining so fast, you haven't got a very long time to make these decisions. Every year that goes by, the vulture population is declining by half," Rhys Green, biologist at the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and a senior research fellow at the University of Cambridge, told The Scientist.The situation is dire, said Rick Watson, director of...

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