The Albanian Ornithological Society as a national partner within the project “Egyptian Vulture New life” was tasked with the realization of Action 2: "Identifying and Evaluating the Use of Veterinary Drugs Affecting the Egyptian”.
During the study, it was observed that from four products, confirmed as potentially dangerous for vultures, Aceclofenac, Ketoprofen, Flunixin, Diclofenac, in the list provided by the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, there were three of them; Ketoprofen, Flunixin and Diclofenac.
Environmental and animal protection organizations have expressed concern about the negative effects of Diclofenac. Even in the EU, Diclofenac poses a direct risk to birds and mainly to vultures that are scavengers. Considering the drastic decline in this population, various actors have demanded the categorical prohibition of the use of Diclofenac. Meanwhile, it is noticed from the list that in Albania, this highly dangerous element for the wildlife has been used until 2018. In parallel with a decision of the Council of Ministers in 2018, Diclofenac is classified as a medication that can be taken without a prescription.
In conclusion, we can say that almost all VMPs / NSAIDs, potentially harmful to vultures, are used in Albania. It is believed that some veterinary clinics use illegally introduced medicines while avoiding customs controls and this is another aspect that exacerbates the situation by increasing the opportunities for misuse of these medicines.
Did you know that agricultural chemicals are considered to be highly dangerous to the Egyptian vulture Neophron percnopterus which is categorized as Endangered on the IUCN Red List?
To confirm this hypothesis, the "Albanian Ornithological Society” as a national partner, under the “Egyptian Vulture New Life” project, undertook an investigation into the impact of agricultural chemicals as a poisonous agent for Egyptian Vulture in Albania.
To accomplish this activity, AOS has been able to obtain the necessary information from the Department of Agriculture and Veterinary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Albania for all legal agricultural chemicals used in Albania recently. The material that the Ministry has provided us is the complete list of plant protection products, PPP, which is also known as the pesticide list.
Currently, about 319 agricultural chemicals are currently used in Albania based on the above information. Meanwhile, 97 agricultural chemicals have been removed after evaluation by the responsible authorities. So, it is not allowed to import or or to trade them within our country. Also, another list includes 27 agricultural chemicals that are not allowed to be imported but only traded and used in the Republic of Albania.
From this point of view, if we analyze these lists, based on scientific research we note that very large numbers of pesticides have been used and are still being used in the Republic of Albania. Years ago, the domestic market demand was oriented towards pesticides with immediate, very toxic, detrimental effects on the wildlife as a whole.
At the same time, we note that compositions of some pesticide components pose a risk not only for wildlife in general, but more specifically for the population of vultures, which are most exposed to deliberate poisoning or not due to their consume of carcasses.
In Albania, we are faced with the critical fact that only two of the four types of vultures has remained, the Egyptian Vulture and Griffon Vulture, which, besides being very few in number, are directly at risk of poisoning through the misuse of agricultural chemicals as scavengers birds.