As the director of Zoologico del Istmo in Puerto Lindo, Panama, Jacobo Lacs manages animal rescue, rehabilitation, and breeding efforts. Jacobo Lacs also acts as a board member for The Peregrine Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting birds of prey around the world.
According to a new study in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (B), vulture deaths in India caused by diclofenac poisoning decreased by more than 30 percent between 2005 and 2009. In 2006 India banned diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug used on livestock, and the study reports that the number of livestock carcasses (the main food source for vultures) carrying the drug was consequently reduced by 50 percent. However, researchers note that six percent of carcasses still contain the illegal drug, even though veterinarians and livestock owners could use a vulture-safe alternative called meloxicam.
The study’s findings support the movement to ban large-dose use of diclofenac in South Asia. Over ten years ago, several species of South Asian vulture were near extinction due to the prevalent use of diclofenac. These species are now experiencing a period of recovery since India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan barred the use of veterinary diclofenac.