ANIMAL rights groups have slammed Spain for its use of a ‘killer drug’ that could ‘lead to the extinction of vultures’.

BirdLife International, the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Vulture Conservation Foundation said the use anti-inflammatory diclofenac among livestock has led to the death of millions of vultures.

Speaking on World Vulture Awareness day, the conservation groups accused Mariano Rajoy among other European leaders of putting ‘the ambitions of pharmaceutical companies ahead of the environment’.

“Spanish authorities are choosing pharmaceuticals over the environment,” Asunción Ruiz, CEO of BirdLife Spain said. “Vultures provide services to our farmers that are far more valuable than the benefits of this product, a product that can easily be replaced by safer drugs.”

The birds die within hours of eating the carcass of an animal that had been exposed to the drug.

The drug is infact banned in India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh following depleting numbers of avian scavengers.

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