Mahottari declared 58th diclofenac-free district

MAHOTTARI: Mahottari, a district in the eastern Tarai, on Monday was declared free from diclofenac, anti-inflammatory and analgesic drug used on livestock. It is the 58th district to be free from the anti-inflammatory drug.

The Jaleshwar-based District Livestock Office had officially declared the district free from the use of this painkiller drug on Monday, confirmed Office Chief Dr Jeevan Kumar Singh.

Nepal had banned the use of the drug that proved toxic for vultures some 11 years ago, following a dramatic fall in the number of scavenging birds from Nepal, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Before 1991, there were more than a half million vultures of nine species in Nepal and later this number was found dwindled at an alarming rate of 91 per cent, prompting the authorities concerned to take an immediate step to conserve the scavenger birds.

It has been reported that the vultures feeding on carcasses of animals treated with diclofenac suffered kidney failure and died.

According to Nepal Bird Conservation Field Officer Bhupal Nepali, the decision to ban the drug in the district was found fully implemented during a market monitoring held recently.

As per the Drugs Act-1978, anyone found producing, using, selling, importing, exporting and storing this drug, shall face three years jail term or a fine of Rs 25,000 cash or both.