The organisations say that the RCVS position is that it expects veterinary surgeons to offer treatments "underpinned by a recognised evidence base".
However, what the RCVS position statement actually says is: "we expect that treatments offered by veterinary surgeons are underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles".
As yet, neither the Faculty of Homeopathy nor the BAHVS have explained which sound scientific principles homeopathy may be based on.
The Faculty of Homeopathy and the BAHVS go on to say that misinformation concerning the efficacy of homeopathy has been promulgated by a small minority opposed to homeopathy.
However, a survey carried out by VetSurgeon.org and Alex Gough MRCVS, Head of Medicine Referrals at Bath Veterinary Group in 2013 found that 83% of veterinary surgeons opposed homeopathy, 78% to the degree that they felt it should not be practised under the the professional title of MRCVS.
The BAHVS response claims there is quality evidence supporting the efficacy of homeopathy, in direct contradiction to the many and various bodies and studies that have concluded the reverse, including the NHS, the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee and more recently, the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), an organisation representing the 29 national academies in Europe including the Royal Society, which recently declared in a statement that: "homeopathy is implausible" and "there is no rigorous evidence to substantiate the use of homeopathy in veterinary medicine."
The BAHVS claims there is growing interest in homeopathy from animal owners, "as they see conventional medicines regularly failing or producing adverse side-effects". It says: "this is especially true in livestock farming where there is a drive to reduce the dependence on antibiotics in light of concerns about antimicrobial resistance".
However, the recent EASAC statement specifically singled out the use of homeopathy in farm animals, saying that the lack of evidence is: "particularly worrying when such products are used in preference to evidence-based medicinal products to treat livestock infections."
The BAHVS response says that if the RCVS were to apply the same evidential criteria it is using for homeopathy to all treatments, there would be far fewer clinical options available to the profession; that the RCVS is limiting veterinary surgeons' clinical freedom. However, it doesn't substantiate this claim with examples of any clinical treatments used by veterinary surgeons which are not based on scientific principles and which would be limited if the same evidential standards applied.
VetSurgeon.org supports the Campaign for Rational Veterinary Medicine.
Photo: Multicolored homeopathy tubes isolated on a white background. Lush. Shutterstock.
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Homeopathy is BS. How can something diluted to the nth degree possibly work. The reasons are in the "Campaign for Rational Veterinary Medicine" cited above - mostly placebo effect ! Tramadol did not work for me AT ALL - in fact made me feel quite sick. Naturopathy probably has more going for it as it is based on plant medicine components from which a lot of our medications are derived. To recommend a homeopathic treatment is wasting the owner's money and unethical, IMO !
Our medicinal prescribing is governed by VMD cascade. That should end the professional discussion, but it doesnt.
As a vet using medicine i have to follow this, if i dont and a complaint is lodged about my treatment i can be called up by the RCVS. If i have failed to follow cascade in any way shape or form i can and should be in deep brown.
I also need a VMD inspection to show i am following all of the rules, any breach is jumped on.
Starting off licence is not ok for me. Can i start a "real world vet" where i throw cascade out the window and use what i think is best??
If homeopaths had to follow exactly the same rules i do, fine, go bananas. Until that point, i want a level playing field please.
I would like to ask Mr Ruben if he would cite examples of medications that work yet do not have a scientific explanation for the way they work? On the same note, one of proof, can he prove that “Argo (... and the rest of the veterinary profession ...) still believes that the sun goes round a flat earth ...”? I don’t and I am mildly insulted by his comment.
Jonathan Ruben No need to personalise things, Jonathan! That aside, I wonder which you think is the more plausible explanation, that brick dust diluted to the point that there is no brick dust could be an effective treatment for, well, anything. Or, alternatively, that there are weaknesses in the human mind which cause us (all of us) to believe a medication is working (even one made from diluted brick dust), when in reality it is not: www.vetsurgeon.org/.../homeopathy-works.aspx
PS I don’t use homeopathy. Nor would I advise a client to seek homeopathic treatment. There are a lot of other treatments I don’t advise but I do know that I don’t know everything unlike Arlo
I’m sorry that Arlo still believes that the sun goes round a flat earth like the rest of the veterinary establishment. It is quite clear from anyone’s observation that the sun goes round the earth. We see it moving across the sky every day. This is why 17th century scientists dismissed Gallileo’s ideas. Dissing something you don’t understand is foolish. I personally can see no scientific evidence for homeopathy, yet it works. We are only beginning to find out exactly how many orthodox medications actually achieve their clinical effect. Gabapentin being one example. Tramadol used as a pain killer achieves most of its effect by mimicking the action of Prozac.
Publishing Editor: Arlo Guthrie
Clinical Editor: Alasdair Hotston Moore MA VetMB CertSAC CertVR CertSAS FRCVS
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