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Birds of Prey: Diclofenac

Question for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

UIN HL15178, tabled on 21 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effects of diclofenac on birds of prey in the UK; and whether they will follow Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal and India in banning diclofenac.

Answered on

29 April 2021

In December 2014, the European Medicines Agency's Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use published its scientific opinion on the risk to vultures and other necrophagous bird populations in the EU in connection with the use of veterinary medicines containing diclofenac, including risk mitigation measures.

In March 2015, the UK and EU member states carried out an analysis of the measures in place nationally to mitigate the risk to vultures and other necrophagous bird populations in the UK and EU.

The UK does not have any authorised veterinary medicines containing diclofenac. Nevertheless, diclofenac is included in the UK's residues surveillance programme to monitor whether there are residues of this active substance in animal products.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate, the regulator for veterinary medicines, takes the issue of diclofenac's risks to vultures seriously and is not currently approving any requests for the import or export of veterinary medicines containing diclofenac.

The UK is Party to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) which provides a global platform for the conservation and sustainable use of migratory animals and their habitats. As a Party, the UK contributes to the Preventing Poisoning Working Group which was established under CMS to facilitate actions and efforts to prevent poisoning of migratory birds including birds of prey.