In a shock to no one, the resolution before the American Veterinary Medical Association House of Delegates acknowledging homeopathy is ineffective was defeated by a wide margin. Sources say the vote was 90% against the resolution despite the report of the AVMA’s own Council on Research which found “there is no clinical evidence to support the use of homeopathic remedies for treatment or prevention of diseases in domestic animals.”
This is a purely political decision, of course, in which the AVMA places unity within the veterinary profession above the welfare of patients and the rights of clients to fully informed consent. In other countries, the veterinary profession has been less timid and self-serving.
The BVA cannot endorse the use of homeopathic medicines, or indeed any medicine making therapeutic claims, which have no proven efficacy.
The Australian Veterinary Association policy states:
That the Board agreed that the veterinary therapies of homeopathy and homotoxicology are considered ineffective therapies in accordance with the AVA
promotion of ineffective therapies Board resolution.
In the UK, the laws about how homeopathy can be marketed in the veterinary field dictate the label must state that is has no therapeutic indication or it cannot be sold.
53.—(1) A homeopathic remedy registered under these Regulations must be labelled in
accordance with this paragraph.
(2) There must be no specific therapeutic indication on the labelling or in any information
relating to it.
(3) The labelling (or labelling and package leaflet) must contain the following and no other
(a) the words ‘homeopathic remedy without approved therapeutic indications for veterinary use’
As a colleague of mine eloquently put it, “Homeopathy is absolutely incompatible with our framework of science and physiology. Calling it ‘veterinary medicine,’ regardless of how you couch it in ‘alternative’ or ‘complimentary,’ is an insult to the credibility of every veterinarian in the country.”
I expect pronouncements of vindication from proponents of homeopathy to follow shortly. As we’ve seen before, advocates of pseudoscientific therapies are adept at manipulating political systems to protect their practices and achieve the appearance of legitimacy when they cannot do so through the production of real scientific validation.