Bird-Safe Rx: Alternative drug won't kill India's vultures | Science News

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Bird-Safe Rx: Alternative drug won't kill India's vultures

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1:29pm, February 1, 2006

An international research team says that it has found a substitute for the livestock drug that has accidentally poisoned most of the vultures of India and neighboring countries.

Last March, India announced that it intended to ban the vulture-killing drug, but no alternative had been identified.

The now-proposed substitute is meloxicam, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It didn't harm several species of Gyps vultures in tests, report Gerry Swan of the University of Pretoria in South Africa and his colleagues. In the March PLoS Biology, they propose that farmers use it, instead of the older NSAID diclofenac, to treat swelling and pain in cattle and

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