BAHVS Position Statement
on Danny Chambers et al Petition
The whole premise of this campaign is based on the blatant misrepresentation that homeopathic medicines are ‘only water’. This is plainly not true. A global initiative of over 100 researchers from a mutiplicity of disciplines (the Group Recherche sur linfinitessimal’ (GIRI) has been studying solutions described as ‘ultra-dilutionse’ for 30 years. They have observed unequivocal evidence of their bioactivity. PubMed alone contains more than 100 papers. Recently, researchers have proven existence of nanoparticles in such solutions.
The foundation of the campaign is therefore untenable from a scientific point of view.
The principle of hormesis (the paradoxical dose-response curves exhibited by biological systems) goes some way towards explaining the homeopathic effect, whereby ‘like cures like’. This phenomenon is recognised in main stream pharmacology and demonstrable in conventional medicines.
Following on from this, it is nonsense to suggest that homeopathy has been proven to be ineffective. There is a wealth of scientific papers demonstrating the beneficial effect of homeopathy, in humans and in animals. Among them are a clinical audit published in the Veterinary Record, and the most recent meta-analysis in homeopathy, published in 2014 in the peer-reviewed journal Systematic Review, that concluded there was a significant treatment effect beyond placebo.
On the veterinary database www.homeopathicvet.org we now list 839 publications on Veterinary Homeopathy in Peer Reviewed publications, 144 Peer Reviewed in-vitro studies, 490 non-peer reviewed cases and articles on Veterinary treatments, as well as 379 Agrohomeopathy references.
Furthermore the evidence cited by the campaigners against homeopathy is flawed
The negative conclusions from the House of Commons evidence check in 2010 have been discredited because only three members of the committee voted in favour of the report, two of whom were not present to hear the evidence. Hence 70 MPs signed an Early Day Motion criticising it and being aware of this, the government of the day rejected it.
On the contrary, in 2011, the Swiss Government conducted a study on homeopathy and found it to be effective, hence it enshrined in law the principle that homeopathy should be available in the state health system. Homeopathy is afforded legal protection by the EU.
Many veterinary organisations recognise the benefits of homeopathy. For instance, In their final report on antimicrobial (AM) resistance, FEEVA (The European Federation of Equine Veterinary Associations) states:
‘In treatment of sick horses, research on AM replacement should focus primarily in areas where there already is scientific evidence – namely:
Or any other evidence based means.’
It is clear that this campaign is neither rational nor professional. It attempts to remove from the veterinary domain a vital form of medicine which affords relief to patients when other therapies are ineffective, and it attempts to do so by spreading misinformation.
The RCVS (Royal College Of Veterinary Surgeons – the governing body in the UK) have issued a policy statement in regard to the practice of homeopathy by qualified veterinary surgeons. The views of RCVS were reiterated in 2006, when this issue was last raised. At that time they added recognition of the demand for homoeopathy for animals, stating that:
“Whatever views there may be within the veterinary profession it is clear that there is a demand from some clients for complementary and alternative therapies. It is better that they should seek advice from a veterinary surgeon – who is qualified to make a diagnosis, and can be held to account for the treatment given – rather than turning to a practitioner who does not have veterinary training.
That is why RCVS has in the past published in the Register a list of veterinary surgeons who hold homeopathic qualifications. Now that we have updated the "Find a Vet" part of the RCVS website (www.rcvs.org.uk/findavet) so that the public can find and choose veterinary practices who offer complementary treatments we feel this is more helpful than publishing a list of practitioners in the Register.”
“Any decision by the Government on NHS funding of homoeopathy does not change the position that homoeopathy is accepted by society, recognised in UK medicines legislation and does not in itself cause harm to animals. While this is the case, it is difficult to envisage any justification for banning a small number of veterinary surgeons from practicing homoeopathy.”
We regard this petition as nothing more than an attempt to prevent client freedom of choice in regard to available treatments for their animals. Homeopathy is the original evidence based medicine.
Some of the signatories of this petition were also those on a similar attempt in the USA. It was dismissed comprehensively by the AVMA who said “they were not in the business of telling vets what medicine/modalities they could use.“