Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that has been identified as the cause of the catastrophic decline of vulture populations in the Indian subcontinent, causing renal failure, visceral gout and rapid death in vultures. Diclofenac is so toxic that less than 1% of livestock carcasses need to contain the drug to cause the declines observed in White-rumped Vultures in India.
Meloxicam, an alternative NSAID, has been tested and has no known harmful effects on vultures and other scavenging bird species at concentrations likely to be encountered in livestock carcasses. In order to ensure the effective conservation of the three vulture species in Cambodia, a ban on the veterinary use of diclofenac in Cambodia has been recommended by the Cambodian Government and we also encourage a ban on the import of diclofenac for veterinary use into the country. Meloxicam should be promoted as a safe alternative to diclofenac.