Vulture-Safe Livestock Vaccination Drive Launched in Thar

Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Baahn Beli, on Sunday, launched the first-ever vulture-safe vaccination drive in Thar, targeting vaccinating over 6000 livestock in two days, as part of their ongoing vulture conservation programme in collaboration with the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company in Sindh’s Thar region. Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company – under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) – is working on various initiatives and projects targeted at interventions aimed to improve life of the Thari communities and enrich the bio-diversity of the region.

The drive was launched at a small ceremony organized in the vicinity of the Gorrano reservoir, which has overtime become a hotspot for birds in the region. Hundreds of local Tharis brought their livestock to the free vulture-safe vaccination camp, which also offered free veterinary check-up. Senior officials from the Sindh Livestock Department, Sindh Wildlife Department, SECMC, IUCN and NGO Baanhn Beli participated in the ceremony.

Chief guest on the occasion was MPA Sher Mohammad Bilalani. Speaking on the occasion, MPA Bilalani assured the gathering that the Livestock department will work towards ensuring the discontinuation of the harmful drug Disclofenac that has been responsible for the steep decline in vulture population in Pakistan. Representative from the Sindh Wildlife Department, Mr. Talpur said that it was mandatory that “we all work together to protect the wildlife which is our asset.” He also explained how different animals play their role in keeping the environment healthy.

Mr. Naseer Memon, General Manager CSR, SECMC appreciated the support given by the livestock department and MPA Mr. Bilalani, and encouraged the communities to help the programme achieve its objectives by playing a more active role in creating awareness of the threats to vultures and their role in the ecosystem.