International workshop on vultures and veterinary drugs – Dadia, Greece

International workshop on vultures and veterinary drugs – Dadia, Greece

International workshop on vultures and veterinary drugs brought together experts in vulture conservation from Spain, France, Israel, Bulgaria and Greece.

The workshop was held within Re-Vultures (LIFE14 NAT/NL/000901) project and it was organized by the VCF and WWF Greece. Significant was the participation of veterinarians, toxicologists and representatives of forestry agencies, cooperating with the LIFE projects in case of accident with the birds. The team of Bright Future for Black Vulture LIFE14 NAT/BG/649 project was invited to present the situation on the subject in Bulgaria. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gergana Nikolova and Dr. Ivanka Lazarova from Veterinary Legislation and Management Department at Trakia university - Stara Zagora and Dr. Kiril Dimitrov patoanathomist at Trakia university - Stara Zagora also made presentations for their work in the field.

The necessity of similar workshops turned out to be significant through the years of work for the vulture conservation, the veterinary drugs proved to be one of the large-scale threats for the wild raptors. Domestic animals and intensive farmed animals most often become food for entire vulture colonies. Antibiotics, anti-parasitic agents, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, etc. applied for treatment of the livestock, threatens the well-being of a number of wild animals, especially vultures as they live and feed in colonies.

One of the preconditions for that is the use of illegal drugs and veterinary medicinal products and the self-treatment of the animals by the stock-breeders without vet prescription. Also, for some of the products the withdrawal period from the body of the livestock is investigated, but the effect it will cause to a vulture after eating meat from animal treated with VMPs is not clear. Another problem is the misleading information given by the stock-breeders about the drugs applied on animals, aiming to get rid of the carcasses in the cheapest way. All the interested parties agreed on the matter that even if the slightest doubts exist about medical treatment with vet drugs of the carcass to be given for food, the meat should not be thrown to the feeding stations but given for incineration.

The process optimization of collection of samples from poisoned or potentially poisoned animals was also discussed, as the experience exchange is the best way of solving the problem.

The workshop ended with field visit of the feeding station, which is on the territory of Dadia-Lefkini-Soufli National park and the participants had the rare chance to observe Cinereous vulture nest.