Printer Friendly

Assessing risk to European vultures consuming carcasses containing non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs

Summary: Researchers will study the health risks and exposure of European vultures consuming carcasses containing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to medicate livestock. 

Description: Vultures are extremely sensitive to the toxic effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Multiple studies document Asian vultures dying from kidney failure caused by inadvertent ingestion of these drugs from medicated livestock carcasses. Although strict veterinary regulations exist in Europe, the licensing and use of diclofenac, a type of NSAID, in several countries poses serious concerns for the health and conservation of vultures in this region. Researchers will study NSAID exposure in vultures living on the Iberian Peninsula, home to 95 percent of Europe’s vulture population. The team will identify the scope of NSAID use in livestock and analyze residues from these drugs in vultures as well as domestic animal carcasses, a primary food source for these birds. Data will be used to inform policies on NSAID use in livestock and its effects on wildlife.


INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Ignasi Marco, Autonomous University of Barcelona