Another threat – ketoprofen’s free usage in veterinary medicine in Bulgaria

Svetoslav Spasov,

Along with Diclofenac there is another veterinary drug that is lethal for vultures – ketoprofen. In Bulgaria the usage of Diclofenac is not licensed, while ketoprofen is freely used in the veterinary medicine.

That is said in the answer of Bulgarian Food Safety Agency to the question of the BSPB concerning the legal status and the usage of Diclofenac in Bulgaria. As an alternative, veterinary drugs with anesthetic effect containing ketoprofen and metamizole sodium as active substances are allowed to use.

 In the list of the allowed veterinary medications ketoprofen is used as the drug Ketofen (pills and injected solution).

After a number of national and international nature preserving organizations alarmed for the immediate need for complete banning of the usage of Diclofenac in veterinary medicine – the medication caused the destruction of 99% of the vulture populations in India, Pakistan and Nepal, another threat by the usage of ketoprofen appears. Consistent research on the topic shows the similar with diclofenac toxic effect of ketoprofen on vultures (Naidoo et al. 2010).

BirdLife International insists on strict control on the ketoprofen’s usage in India, where it is used as an alternative of Diclofenac. According to a conducted research of 200 dead domestic animals in the body of 70 % of them has been found ketoprofen in concentration lethal for vultures. It is supposed that the usage of the medication has already become a reason for the additional decreasing of the number of vulture population in India.

The researches of the veterinary medications and their safety for vultures continue. Until now the medication Meloxikam is announced to be safe. Metamizole sodium which is mentioned by Bulgarian Food Safety Agency is also not dangerous for vultures.

Because of their threat for the wild species and the existence of safe alternatives, the free usage of medications Diclofenac and Ketoprofen in veterinary medicine should be immediately banned. Such timely conservation intervention already has proven its positive effect for the recovery of the vulture’s populations (Galligan et al. 2014).

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