MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd

I have this minute learnt the following from this website:

RCVS POSITION ON COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINES

“We have recently been asked questions about complementary and alternative medicines and treatments in general and homeopathy in particular.

“We would like to highlight our commitment to promoting the advancement of veterinary medicine upon sound scientific principles and to re-iterate the fundamental obligation upon our members as practitioners within a science-based profession which is to make animal welfare their first consideration. “In fulfilling this obligation, we expect that treatments offered by veterinary surgeons are underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles. Veterinary surgeons should not make unproven claims about any treatments, including prophylactic treatments.

“Homeopathy exists without a recognised body of evidence for its use. Furthermore, it is not based on sound scientific principles. In order to protect animal welfare, we regard such treatments as being complementary rather than alternative to treatments for which there is a recognised evidence base or which are based in sound scientific principles. It is vital to protect the welfare of animals committed to the care of the veterinary profession and the public’s confidence in the profession that any treatments not underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles do not delay or replace those that do.”

END OF QUOTE

I think this is excellent and thank everybody who contributed to achieving this victory of reason over quackery.

85 Responses to Good news regarding homeopathy for animals: RCVS POSITION ON CAM

  • The RCVS statement allows treatments “not underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles” to be provided so long as they do not delay or replace evidence/science based treatments.

    Quackery is okay alongside rationally underpinned treatments or if no such treatments exist.

    Respect – not!

  • “We have recently been asked questions about complementary and alternative medicines and treatments in general and homeopathy in particular.”

    Not recent at all, this has taken years of lobbying.

  • It is a shift from their position asserted in reply to us in 2006, which claimed that it would be wrong to deny clients the choice of using homeopathy while the efficacy of homeopathy remained an unresolved issue.

    The current statement remains short of the outright ban that would be the correct position.

    • It’s about as good as we could expect for now. Personally, even if a blanket ban on homeopathy wasn’t possible, I would like to have seen a ban on claims from vet homs they can cure cancer and that nosodes are effective replacements for vaccines. Still, beggars can’t be choosers, as Simon says, we’ve come a long way since 2006.

      Niall

  • The RCVS has made the AVMA look like wankers.

    Politics prevented the passing of a similar resolution on this side of the pond several years ago:

    https://www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/140301g.aspx

    • From the AVMA link: “Dr. Karen Bradley, the delegate from Vermont, said… that the AVMA should be an inclusive umbrella organization for veterinarians. She did not think AVMA leaders should debate the worth of each modality”

      I can never understand the reasoning behind remarks like this, it is simply double standards. Of course veterinary governing bodies ‘debate the worth’ of each modality, that’s why we don’t practice the firing of horses or the docking of dogs’ or horses’ tails any more. Like those practices homeopathy causes more harm than good, so what’s the difference?

      Niall

  • No one in the RCVS Council supports the use of homeopathy, and all agree it is ridiculous even as complementary to appropriate treatment. However, we took repeated legal advice and this was as strong as it could possibly be. It’s not within the power of RCVS to ban VMD licensed products from being used.

    This statement does mean that vets are accountable for any suffering caused due to using homeopathy and could be subject to Disciplinary action.

    • The GMC requires all doctors to secure fully informed consent to having treatment.
      If they do not, they are practising unethically and should be castigated for doing so. If not struck off.

      That means medically qualified homeopaths should advise: “The treatment I am recommending is regarded by the majority of conventional doctors as having no merit beyond activating placebo responses – do you consent to proceed with that understanding?”

      Are vets not required to be as ethical?

      • Seems that the founders of the veterinary guild defined veterinary medicine as using “rational scientific principles” to treat animals

        from : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veterinary_medicine.

        This would certainly put the profession at odds with homeopathy and several other cam modalities.

        As far a the PVME (Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics):

        “Veterinarians shall not promote, sell, prescribe, dispense, or use secret remedies or any other product for which they do not know the ingredients.”

        TCM herbals and homeopathic preparations are a often secret proprietary blends. Yunan Baiyao comes to mind.

        and as far as their choice of treatment goes:

        “attending veterinarians are responsible for choosing the treatment regimen for their patients. It is the attending veterinarian’s responsibility to inform the client of the expected results and costs, and the related risks of each treatment regimen.”

        both quotes are from:https://www.avma.org/KB/Policies/Pages/Principles-of-Veterinary-Medical-Ethics-of-the-AVMA.aspx

      • Vets also have a duty to inform but I’ve never had one provide me with a data sheet or explain possible negative effects of a vaccine or treatment they want to subject my pet too.

        Why shouldn’t we use mother nature to heal? After all, that’s where allopathic medicines started until humans tried to reproduce them through synthesis.

        I’d far rather lean towards the natural route on the basis of “first, do no harm” (limited side effects versus chemicals). I’m not against the allopathic approach, my JRT is currently taking steroid tablets to reduce ear inflammation, bot only because it’s the most effective short term treatment.

        An integrated approach looks at all options and utilises the best of both. That’s what “holistic” is about, whole of life approach.

        • Jeanie said:

          Vets also have a duty to inform but I’ve never had one provide me with a data sheet or explain possible negative effects of a vaccine or treatment they want to subject my pet too.

          If that’s the case, then that issue should be addressed: it is certainly not addressed by prescribing useless sugar pills.

          Why shouldn’t we use mother nature to heal?

          Because many times she doesn’t?

          After all, that’s where allopathic medicines started until humans tried to reproduce them through synthesis.

          And improve, resolve and prevent conditions that have always plagued animals and caused immense suffering.

          the basis of “first, do no harm” (limited side effects versus chemicals)

          Or, in many cases, do nothing and let the animal suffer as nature intended?

          An integrated approach looks at all options and utilises the best of both. That’s what “holistic” is about, whole of life approach.

          What best approach are you referring to? Please provide evidence with your response.

          • Excellent points!

            An oft neglected intricacy of the ubiquitous appeals to nature thrown around all over the alternative medicine belief system is that “mother nature”, quite often, is the original cause of suffering. Healing, thus, usually amounts to ruining Mother Nature’s careful plans for natural selection. But then again, people involved in the fallacy often don’t believe in evolution itself either

        • Jeanie, you seem to miss some of the most important aspects of medicine. There rarely is such a thing as “no harm“, especially in serious cases of pathology. Treatments carry risks and benefits, which are carefully and meticulously documented after long periods of cumbersome research and accurate and reliable assessments of the totallity of accumulated evidence.

          From then on, one weighs the risks against the benefits. In simple terms, when benefits “win“, the treatment is advised and, when rationality prevails, used, otherwise it is advised that the treatment be avoided. This imbalance of risks and benefits (hopefully, it is an imbalance… an imbalance facilitates reasoning, you see) is not constant throughout an individual’s life, be it human or not. The same treatment that would be very much one of choice for a 25-year-old person may not be suitable anymore when the same person is 60 years old.

          Mother Nature is notorious for being random and cannot be based upon using samples-of-one for evidence.

          A holistic approach is one that takes into account the living conditions of the individual and their health-related behavioral manifestations, among other things. It does not look at options. It simply means improving a person’s health by improving their behavioral manifestations in multiple directions. In even simpler terms, apart from treatment, lifestyle changes are advocated as a side-dish: exercise, nutritional improvements, sleeping more, spending less time standing, switch occupations if necessary, spend time with friends, laugh more, take it easy etc… All of these changes elicit physiological improvements on an individual and there is not one single doctor around that would not know that much. This bedtime story about “holistic” meaning “looking at the options” almost exclusively comes up just when someone wants to integrate an invalid option within a valid catalog.

        • Might I remind Jeanie that water (both shaken and stirred) and sugar are both chemicals both sugars and water can be produced syntheticly, even if that is usually not necessary.
          The sugars used for producing homeopathic drug replicas (aka remedies) is refined in factories using chemical processes.

          The simple and provable reason they produce no side effects in the quantities used for homeopathic purposes is that they do not produce any effects at all.

        • Jeanie
          What exactly is `mother nature’? One of the world’s foremost scientific journals is called Nature. Science is about explaining nature, and treatments developed by the scientific method do work in accordance with nature. Denying science in favour of a spurious notion of `nature’ is a false dichotomy.

          `Allopathic’ is a meaningless term. It was coined by Hahnemann to differentiate his illogical system from every other type of treatment. It means `different disease’. In 1796 when he invented homeopathy doctors generally tried to oppose symptoms. This is not the case now, as most modern treatments are based on a detailed understanding of underlying mechanisms. `Allopathic’ is now used by homeopaths as a derogatory term for everything that isn’t homeopathy. It means nothing to anyone else.

          `First, do no harm’. OK, try this lot, then tell me there is no harm from homeopathy.

          http://whatstheharm.net/homeopathy.html

    • Will you please detail scientific evidence of the suffering caused by a homeopathic vet. For each you share I, and the supporters of CAM, will share evidence of side effects caused by drugs on animals. I bet we can keep going longer.

  • For those that don’t believe homeopathy works I would just like to share my experience.
    I have a Springer with idiopathic epilepsy that suffered with bad cluster seizures and has had Status twice.
    She’s refractory to conventional meds and the phenobarb has done nothing but gradually destroy her body.I consulted a homeopath and since I’ve been using it my dogs seizures have been limited to one or two…so for a dog that had Status 3 months ago, and can have up to 9/10 seizures in a ‘normal’ episode, how do you explain that?
    So I’m very thankful for homeopathy and I won’t stop using it because for me it’s done what conventional meds can’t. Conv meds are making her sick and are still not doing the job.
    I’m a believer in big pharma keeping your dog sick and it’s inmoral.

    • Lucy, I’m please to hear your dog is better, but your story clearly demonstrates faulty logic. Do you think that real medicines such as antibiotics should be given licences by the regulator on the basis of stories such as this? Actually that is pretty much what used to happen before the modern era of drug regulation, and doctors killed more patients than they cured. Stories like yours are self-selecting – we only hear about the successes, not the many, many more failures. Have you looked up Cognitive Bias and Logical Fallacies on Wikipedia? Do you know what observer bias and confirmation bias are? All this is why we have developed rigorous methods to test treatments, called clinical trials. They are not perfect, but they aim to minimise bias by studying not one subject (like your dog) but many, often hundreds. So if one dog out of the 100 (say) in the trial gets better, we still dismiss the result because that could have happened by chance. When homeopathy is tested in clinical trials, no reliable evidence is found. Some patients get better by chance, or (more usually) because the condition resolves over time. OK, homeopaths will cite trials that showed some benefit, but of course the more trials you do the more likely it is that a few of them will show false positive results – by chance. What is especially interesting is that the better the trial’s design and conduct, the weaker is the apparent effect of homeopathy. See http://www.bandolier.org.uk/band45/b45-2.html. So it’s the poor quality trials that homeopaths like to cite.

      Your last sentence encapsulates the problem. Science is not about belief, it is about evidence. If you claim that `big pharma’ is keeping your dog sick, you have the obligation to provide evidence of that. The ball is in your court.

    • Without knowing the exact details of your springer’s history it’s difficult to comment but there are plenty of reasons why an epileptic dog might improve or appear to improve without medication, I have seen many such cases myself over the years, none of which involved homeopathy. I can’t make out the time-scale of events from your post but epilepsy is notorious for its waxing and waning course; even long established epileptics, having frequent siezures can go months without a siezure for no apparent reason. I hope the improvement continues.

      For more information on this so-called caregiver placebo effect in epilepsy have a look at this paper: Muñana, K. R., Zhang, D. and Patterson, E. E. (2010) ‘Placebo effect in canine epilepsy trials’, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 166–170 which looked at placebo-controlled trials of epilepsy medication and discovered that even some of the dogs given inert placebos seemed to improve.

      And I can’t speak for for big pharma but no veterinary surgeon I have ever met would ever want to keep an animal sick.

      Niall

      • “no veterinary surgeon I have ever met would ever want to keep an animal sick.”

        …..unfortunately I have, but no veterinarian who has a moral character of any worth would do such a thing.
        aside
        An example of poor character in the the profession is this fellow running a pyramid scam generating money by offering to help provide the funds for needed sx on poor helpless animals…. thing is to recieve those funds small independent veterinary clinics have to pony up dough to join his “foundation” and be on the referral list. After sending in the money, doing surgery and rehabilitating the animals (fur babies) the small independent is then stiffed by the charity……. That is the nature of commerce in the USA. Caveat Emptor.

    • Thanks for your little unverified and unverifiable anecdote, Lucy.

  • The RCVS are going to get a lot of letters about this. They will get advised of lots of cases where EB medicine failed, caused suffering and where homeopathy helped. This is back to front from the position of the statement. The RCVS will have to explain away these experiences and keep telling people that the plural of anecdote is anecdotes. That won’t be easy as many people will be upset about this attack on their valued homeopathic vet.
    More and more questions will be asked of the veterinary profession as a result of this statement as suspicions get raised and let us see how the majority of vets view this statement.

    • I hope the RCVS will use that as an opportunity to improve the critical thinking skills and CPD of its members so they can better challenge such nonsense in future.

      • “I hope the RCVS will use that as an opportunity to improve the critical thinking skills and CPD of its members so they can better challenge such nonsense in future.”

        The sad truth is that, certainly in the UK, the critical thinking skills of veterinary surgeons is not the problem. Many vets would agree that homeopathy is bogus but there is a feeling that one mustn’t criticise a professional colleague and also one which puts professional and clinical freedom above animal health and welfare. It’s this (and apathy) that has been most difficult to address. With luck the position statement from RCVS will indicate to the wider profession that tolerance is wearing thin.

        Niall

    • When suspicions really get raised is when the consumer realizes their doctor has been selling and profiting from the sale of remedies shown to be useless. When this happens the consumer will loose esteem for the profession and ultimately hurt the profession’s integrity. This type activity (the selling of useless medicines) has been going on for a long time and is the very definition of the word CHARLATAN.

      Helping the consumer sort through the noise of pseudoscience, separating the wheat from the chaff, builds confidence from the consumer and increases esteem practitioners and the profession are held in by the consumer.

      Quality research into homeopathy and all potential sources of medicine/medical treatments should be lauded and respected, but the marketing and sale of unproven, disproven (in the case of homeopathy) remedies and medical modalities should called out by any doctor with an interest in the patients they treat.

  • Just another attempt by the veterinary profession, hand in glove with the pharmaceutical industry to exploit the public and continue to make as much money as possible. Removing freedom of choice from the pet owning public.

    • So, you can’t provide any good evidence either?

    • If the veterinary profession wanted to ‘make as much money as possible’ for a start we wouldn’t do as much charity work as we do or reduce or even write-off bills in cases of hardship and we would also encourage homeopathy in a big way – those vet homeopaths don’t work for free you know and charging for remedies made from sugar and water is highly profitable.

      There is no conspiracy, homeopathy is a threat to no vested interests, not to pharmaceutical companies, not to conventional, science-based vets. The only thing homeopathy is a threat to is animal welfare. We campaign against it and take all the snide, unjustified criticisms from people such as yourself because we care about the animal patients entrusted to us by their owners, not because we feel threatened or want to make money.

      Niall

    • “Just another attempt by the veterinary profession…”

      Not dissuaded by Furtive Fallacy.

    • As a Veterinary Surgeon I naturally take offence at this. I have long campaigned against the use of homeopathy in animals and am very concerned at the resultant unnecessary animal suffering.
      I have been retired for two years and for the twenty years before that I was involved with emergency clinics, whose profit from drugs is insignificant.
      Hardly ‘hand in glove with the pharmaceutical industry’. I cannot even remember the last time I saw a drug rep!
      We do not exploit the public. We care.

  • Why are conventional vets so scared of this – how many have actually taken the time to work alongside a vet who uses homeopathy and see just how it fits in with conventional medicine. I have used a vet using homeopathy for many years, know them well and have never seen evidence of any pet suffering due to this method. Witches used to be burnt at the stake because people didn’t understand how herbs and other treatments could help – surely much conventional medicine is actually plant based – where would we be with good old peniclin ( a mould) and aspirin. Grow up RCVS and stop being scared of the unknown.

    • Nancy Griffiths said:

      Why are conventional vets so scared of this

      Are they?

      • By replacing fear of the unknown with curiosity we open ourselves up to an infinite stream of possibility. We can let fear rule our lives or we can become childlike with curiosity, pushing our boundaries, leaping out of our comfort zones, and accepting what life puts before us.
        Alan Watts

        Replace unknown with misunderstood!

    • “Why are conventional vets so scared of this…”

      Nobody is scared, there is no threat to any one – vets, pharmaceutical companies or anyone else. We fight against homeopathy because it harms animals directly by neglect, and indirectly by undermining real medicine and scare-mongering.

      Niall

  • I am sure that you do care Phil Hyde along with the other vets on here but please communicate your allegations of ‘animal cruelty’ to the thousands who will be campaigning against the RCVS statement. They care about their animals as well and will have plenty to advise you about.

  • Should researcher continue to subject animals to experimentation in order to promote and validate homeopathy?

    Seems it would be cruel to subject any animal to unnecessary stress in order to promote a dis-proven agenda.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1475939/

    after such a comprehensive and clear cut statement such as this:

    https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/guidelines-publications/cam02

    would it be ethical to continue homeopathic research involving animal experimentation ?

    • “Should researcher continue to subject animals to experimentation in order to promote and validate homeopathy?”

      I couldn’t agree more, I was staggered when I realised how much vivisection was used in experiments trying to prove homeopathy.

      Niall

  • Bet no one on here thought that there would be such a reaction to this statement among animal owners and vets. You had better all have a council of war to try and get out if this mess. I did try to tell you.
    Oops!

    • It’s pretty much the reaction we expected- hysteria and anger caused by homeopaths spreading misinformation, petitions misprepreseting the RCVS Position Statement, and general science denial by people who don’t understand how to evaluate evidence.

      We weren’t expecting quite as many comparisons to Hitler and the Nazis though. Which is ironic as the Nazis really liked homeopathy,

  • I’ve been reading and following all the comments and debate with interest. The main theme that appears to run through from the vets opposed to homeopathy is that they say ‘animals suffer due to homeopathy’, and that seems to be the driving force behind the statement from the RCVS?

    If this suffering of animals has been happening, can someone kindly point me in the direction of disciplinary action against all of these vets that have been allowing this suffering to happen? I’m really interested to see cases and what the RCVS have done about complaints made? How many complaints have been made and how were they dealt with? It’s very worrying if this has been happening and I think others may also be interested to see this evidence. Thanks.

    • There have been a few cases of disciplinary action against vets, following the use of homeopathy in lieu of proper veterinary medicine and one or two other cases have found their way into the veterinary press – pups dying of parvo-virus when given nosodes instead of vaccines for example. I have co-written a book, ‘No Way to Treat a Friend’ which gives even more such examples – a dog dying of diabetes after being treated homeopathically, a cat likewise dying of hyperthyroidism and so on. And these cases are simply the tip of the iceberg of course. In veterinary medicine there are not the checks and balances – coroner’s courts, boards of enquiries, grieving relatives – that there are in human medicine. And when both owner and vet are thoroughly taken in by homeopathic dogma and happy to believe all the bogus excuses homeopaths put forward for such outcomes then cases of harm will rarely come to light.

      Giving ineffective remedies such as homeopathy in place of real, effective medicine results in harm by neglect, however well intentioned the end resut is still the same.

      Niall

  • Dismiss it all as hysteria Danny if you like or even put on Alan’s blindfold. However, you have many colleagues who are not happy with this statement. You might be happy defending your statement but many vets like my vet are concerned that this was done without consultation and has put them in potential conflict with clients. My vet will be writing to the RCVS about this. Are you going to ignore them and call them hysterical?

  • No one can have any issues with you writing articles against homeopathy. The main problem that you have Danny is with many of your veterinary colleagues who will want to know why the statement was posted without consulting the membership, bringing them unnecessarily into conflict with clients.
    Alan- if you really haven’t yet seen any reaction to the RCVS statement then you should just go back to sleep.

    • @JK

      There may well be reactions in many places, but I don’t know what specific reaction you’re referring to. Can you point to it or not?

    • JK said:

      The main problem that you have Danny is with many of your veterinary colleagues who will want to know why the statement was posted without consulting the membership, bringing them unnecessarily into conflict with clients.

      What do the RCVS’s rules, constitution, etc have to say about producing such statements?

      • I am not saying that the board has broken any regulation or that any board members should be subject to an inquisition for expressing their honest opinions in this way. However well intentioned though this statement is clearly controversial and has brought the RCVS in to conflict with many vets and members of the public, many of whom are not CAM activists. Even an enthusiastic campaigner like you Alan is going to be hard pushed to contrive this as some victory for your agenda.

        • JK said:

          I am not saying that the board has broken any regulation or that any board members should be subject to an inquisition for expressing their honest opinions in this way.

          Glad to hear that – it would have been quite an accusation.

          However well intentioned though this statement is clearly controversial and has brought the RCVS in to conflict with many vets and members of the public, many of whom are not CAM activists.

          All I can see are what would appear to be ‘CAM activists’. Can you say where you’ve come across those who aren’t?

          Even an enthusiastic campaigner like you Alan is going to be hard pushed to contrive this as some victory for your agenda.

          LOL! A major and respected body of vets has produced an accurate statement on homeopathy – what’s not to like?

    • “The main problem that you have Danny is with many of your veterinary colleagues who will want to know why the statement was posted without consulting the membership,”

      Our membership elected us to make decisions. Many of us were elected specifically because we stood up for evidence based medicine and do not condone pseudoscience. We are not in conflict with our members because except for a handful of homeopathic vets the overwhelming majority of the profession fully support this and are happy.

      • Sure your role is to make decisions. However, your petition suggests that you don’t have ‘overwhelming support’.
        Your comments about suffering due to homeopathy have gone viral and well beyond the homeopathic community. You will have to justify these comments and the statement to your members.

  • remember to most people, medical jargon is a foreign language!!

  • and remember Sadare dolorem opus divinium

    castigating poorly paid veterinarians is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

    You cannot come out smelling like anything but scat, decrying the veterinary profession.

  • The RCVS are going to get a lot of letters about this. They will get advised of lots of cases where EB medicine failed, caused suffering and where homeopathy helped. This is back to front from the position of the statement. The RCVS will have to explain away these experiences and keep telling people that the plural of anecdote is anecdotes. That won’t be easy as many people will be upset about this attack on their valued homeopathic vet.
    More and more questions will be asked of the veterinary profession as a result of this statement as suspicions get raised and let us see how the majority of vets view this statement.

    This is pure wishful thinking! The malevolent type of course! First of all homeopathy doesn’t work, and, secondly,
    the grand majority of people that will write to the RCVS will either believe in homeopathy, or make money from homeopathy, or both. These cases will be correctly dismissed.

    I am sure that you do care Phil Hyde along with the other vets on here but please communicate your allegations of ‘animal cruelty’ to the thousands who will be campaigning against the RCVS statement. They care about their animals as well and will have plenty to advise you about.

    JK seems to claim an ability of clairvoyance. I’m sure those who will be campaigning against the RCVS statement have plenty to advise about.

    Bet no one on here thought that there would be such a reaction to this statement among animal owners and vets. You had better all have a council of war to try and get out if this mess. I did try to tell you.
    Oops!

    What reaction, really? Is JK imagining things, or extrapolates from some comments in this blog?

    Dismiss it all as hysteria Danny if you like or even put on Alan’s blindfold. However, you have many colleagues who are not happy with this statement. You might be happy defending your statement but many vets like my vet are concerned that this was done without consultation and has put them in potential conflict with clients. My vet will be writing to the RCVS about this. Are you going to ignore them and call them hysterical?

    This demonstrates absurd belief perseverance. Let’s go over this again:
    Animal welfare is, under circumstances, more important than clients’ interests, which are, under circumstances, more important than vets’ interests.
    To protect animal welfare AND the interests of clients, it is necessary to dismiss the idiocy (I particularly like Bjorn’s description actually) that homeopathy is. The de facto use of homeopathy by some vets, and the enjoyment taken by some clients are not good enough reasons to subject the animals to the delusion. The vets are not put in “potential conflict with clients“, this comes SECOND. FIRST they have a conflict of interest to resolve!

    I am not saying that the board has broken any regulation or that any board members should be subject to an inquisition for expressing their honest opinions in this way. However well intentioned though this statement is clearly controversial and has brought the RCVS in to conflict with many vets and members of the public, many of whom are not CAM activists. Even an enthusiastic campaigner like you Alan is going to be hard pushed to contrive this as some victory for your agenda.

    Nice, so now it is a conflict between the RCVS and the vets, one between the vets and the clients and one between RCVS and various members of the public. JK sees conflicts everywhere. Dear JK, your imaginary resistance, regardless of when it may manifest itself, albeit the levels you dream of will only be just about there (in your dreams), is not a good enough reason for resistance. Formulated logically, it has to be either resistance just for the sake of resistance, or resistance because of less money earned. What shall your vet write to the RCVS? That (s)he believes that homeopathy helps animals? Or that (s)he is losing money because clients may take the RCVS seriously? Yes, it’s gonna come down hard on some people’s earnings but that’s life! Justice doesn’t always come with a prize.

    It does however, come with a consolation prize, one of improved welfare. Don’t get overly excited though, that one is only for the animals. You probably wouldn’t know it even if it hit you right between the eyes

  • The RCVS will have a lot of letters to deal with and if they chose to decide that they all come from CAM activists then that will be their problem.
    So if they like they can ignore the letters from vets and members of the public and only listen to Alan, James and those vets who support the statement.

    • JK said:

      So if they like they can ignore the letters from vets and members of the public and only listen to Alan, James and those vets who support the statement.

      LOL!

    • I totally support JK’s position. I am an ordinary dog-owner. Homeopathy isn’t science-based because there isn’t the money to do the research. As with human medicine Big Pharma has a big vested interest in keeping it that way. In my experience the anecdotal evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of holistic approaches as a response to a chronic condition. My GSD was healed by holistic means of Pemphigus, primarily homeopathy, when two conventional vets wanted to use immune-suppressants which by their own admission were likely to shorten her life. This is ultimately about money. I used to think that the veterinarians are following a vocation, but I and other dog-owners I know believe now that it’s about business and money. I am deeply suspicious of conventional veterinary practice after the experience I’ve had of it with my last two dogs. I am very angry at the self-righteousness of the Royal College and wonder what is fuelling the outrage of so many veterinary officials without any real knowledge or experience of holistic approaches.

      Incidentally, like my dog I also recovered from an auto-immune illness that conventional medicine recognised but couldn’t help me with – they said it was incurable. (and I was in severe pain). I am fine now and so is my dog.

      • Mary Johnson said:

        Homeopathy isn’t science-based because there isn’t the money to do the research.

        How much money would be required?

        As with human medicine Big Pharma has a big vested interest in keeping it that way.

        Why?

        In my experience…

        Ah. I see your problem.

      • @Mary Johnson

        Homeopathy isn’t science-based because there isn’t the money to do the research.

        “Homeopathic remedies are a big business. The market for homeopathic medicines is estimated to be 300 million euros in France, 200 million euros in Germany, over 26 billion Rupees in India, and $200 million Dollars in the United States.” (And that was in 2009)
        http://www.scientificpsychic.com/blogentries/homeopathic-medicine-is-profitable-quackery.html

        As with human medicine Big Pharma has a big vested interest in keeping it that way.

        A moment’s quiet reflection, please. Exactly why would ‘Big Pharma’ not want a part of a market worth over a billion dollars (see above) with extraordinarily low research and production costs? Why should it be happy to leave this highly lucrative market to Big Snakeoil?

        In my experience the anecdotal evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of holistic approaches as a response to a chronic condition.

        How would you react if I said “In my experience the anecdotal evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of astrology as a basis for determining who may and may not work as airport security personnel”?

        [I] wonder what is fuelling the outrage of so many veterinary officials without any real knowledge or experience of holistic approaches.

        (a) How do you know these people have no knowledge or experience of ‘holistic approaches’ (whatever that term may mean)?
        (b) Please re-read the original blog post: “we expect that treatments offered by veterinary surgeons are underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles. Veterinary surgeons should not make unproven claims about any treatments…” Are you suggesting the RCVS people can’t read the extensive published data demonstrating that — if the research is done properly — homeopathy shows zero effects beyond a placebo treatment?

      • Mary Johnson says:

        “Homeopathy isn’t science-based because there isn’t the money to do the research.”

        Boiron, world’s largest homeopathy company, turns over about 560 million euros/annum. Are you really telling me that they can’t afford to do any research? Their ingredient costs can’t be very high – eg one duck per year.

  • Yes… The alternative proposition of JK for the RCVS is to take some letters into account, think something along the lines:
    Hmm, it seems we are getting some letters here saying they want us to continue tolerating the use of the mistake that homeopathy is. Ok, let’s retract our statement and let the wrongdoing carry on“.

    And that they retract the statement and keep tolerating the propagation of homeopathic delusions.

    There is no room for debate with respect to the statement. Homeopathy is fantasy medicine and because the people at the RCVS are fully aware of that fact, they are trying to defend animal rights and welfare and bring the matter to public attention. They are nothing short of truly worthy of the respect of any rational veterinary medicine professional.

  • Alan said:
    ‘A major and respected body of vets has produced an accurate statement on homeopathy.’

    it is almost as if you have been involved in this fine mess Alan. I can only award you a beta for these efforts.

    Hopefully this statement has a half life of beta emitting Iodine 131.

  • You do have some imagination, JK. It’s a pity it couldn’t be channelled to something useful.

  • JK is imagining things again… Probably living in an alternate reality…

  • Edzard

    You seem to be paid well to mislead general public.

    Did you check :How many members of the committee had any knowledge of homeopathy? You are still at loss to state difference between Aconite and Belladona for fever after your TRAINING in homeopathy, you expected this statement to be different? You expect drivers of horse drawn carriages to provide information on flying aircrafts?
    When you all talk of science and medicine, I am reminded of Samuel Johnson’s thought: Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. Science is invoked to condone killing of patients and running down alternative medical systems.

    Our family has used homeopathy for years not only for human members but also on animals: livestock on the farms, pets likes dogs and cats etc. I can state last 2 anecdotes for my 13 year old Pomeranian. About 2 years ago she showed difficulty in moving around and a few days later refused to climb up the flight of stairs after her morning and evening outings. We would have to carry her up the stairs every time she went out. Her gait going down the stairs was stiff legged. Our homeopath (living in another city), based upon our description of symptoms, suggested that his evaluation of rheumatism be verified from a Vet locally. The Vet confirmed rheumatism. The medicines prescribed were: Rhus tox 1m one dose and Causticum H 30c 2 times a day for 6 days. 3 days later, she was climbing back the flight of stairs on her own and her gait had changed to normal movement. If we notice some reluctance in her to climb stairs, we give one dose of Rhus tox 1m and Causticum 30c 2 doses for 6 days. The reluctance vanishes. This seems to happen once in about 3/4 months.
    In April this year, she started urinating blood. The homeopath refused to prescribe medicine as he insisted he would like to keep her under observation which could not be arranged. The local Vet confirmed UTI, and X ray showed kidney’s to be OK. She received a shot of antibiotic and all was well. Mid May, the problem re-started. I informed the local Vet that remissions were not acceptable. He agreed and then over the next 4 days, injected antibiotic daily. End June the problem started all over again. On our insistence, we received prescription from the homeopath doctor for Copaiva 30c, Cantharis 30c, Heper Sul 30c, and Terebinthiniae O 30c one dose of each daily for 15 days. (The doctor defined this as a shot gun approach to a problem.)
    We are at end of November now. There is no remission.

    Incidentally, my mother uses Rhus tox 1m for her rheumatic knees. My wife recalls using Copaiva 30c about 30 years ago when she suffered from UTI.

    And you jump around waving a statement that is not worth the paper it is written on.

    • Iqbal Krishna said:

      You seem to be paid well to mislead general public.

      What is it with homeopaths and other quacks that they can only imagine people doing things for money?

      • Alan Henness

        “………that they can only imagine people doing things for money?”

        Give me another good reason for Edzard writing on epsom salt death that happens with a probability of ONE in 12 years in the world and overlooking 288,000 deaths of diabetics, for the same period, from doctor’s errors in Britain.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16147731

        24000 deaths EVERY YEAR in a little country like Britain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • @Iqbal

          Is your understanding, comprehension, memory, knowledge and imagination so limited?

        • Iqbal, is it beyond your comprehension that some people actually care about the truth for its own sake? You also need to understand that, if you accuse someone of taking money the onus is on you to provide evidence. It’s not for the accused to prove a negative, which is the same way that science works. But you obviously don’t understand science either.

          In my experience, some of the most vociferous supporters of homeopathy and other anti-science `treatments’ do actually get paid to do it. They are practitioners who charge patients fees. Are you one of those? What is your affiliation?

          With regard to the statistics you quote on iatrogenic deaths, you need to understand the principle of risk:benefit ratio. Science-based treatments have side effects because they have effects. In any human activity there is risk. The meaningful statistic is whether the benefit is worth the risk. This doesn’t mean that we should calmly accept the risk and do nothing about it, which is why doctors are regulated and drug development is a continuous process. In contrast, homeopathy is still stuck with the concepts of the 1790s.

          I’ll come clean and state that although I’m retired now, I spent 40 years working in Big Pharma. Nobody cared two hoots about competition from homeopathy. Not even one hoot actually. I observed at first hand lots of bad practice, and even shopped a company to the MHRA once, but absolutely none of this had anything to do with alternative medicine. All companies will do whatever they can get away with, and Big Pharma is no different. But you will have to do a lot better than conspiracy theories to make your accusations stick.

          • Iqbal’s critical thought and judgment are severely compromised, unfortunately. He keeps repeating these #####-of-people-die-every-so-often arguments and lives happily believing that medicine is a fancy conspiracy to create patients to make money. Of course he believes in all the basics, such as that cancer and aids are human-created diseases, can be treated homeopathically etc.

            Iqbal also loves the typical courtier’s reply. So, if you haven’t studied bovine excrement extensively, you cannot dismiss them as ineffective for anything (after all, it helps grow high-quality crops, right?). If, however, you spend your whole life doing it, like Dr. Ernst, and still dismiss them, it is more likely that you are well-paid to do so, than that they simply are ineffective.

            Iqbal has many such cards up his sleeve and would never change his mind (the definition of a closed mind) about homeopathy, even in the face of obvious evidence (the definition of belief perseverance). If you feel like setting up an argumentation exercise in futility, that’s your guy!

          • Les Rose

            “… is it beyond your comprehension that some people actually care about the truth for its own sake?”
            Yes. In my experience, most people would mislead if paid the right amount of money. You don’t have to look too far.

            “… if you accuse someone of taking money the onus is on you to provide evidence. It’s not for the accused to prove a negative, which is the same way that science works.”
            Let us check some facts and evaluate. Look at the below post:
            http://edzardernst.com/2017/10/severe-liver-injury-due-to-naturopaths-prescription-of-epsom-salt/
            2 deaths over 12 years around the world, gets Edzard in a frenzy and necessitates a post. 288,000 diabetic deaths during this period because of doctor negligence in England alone is a non-issue.
            http://edzardernst.com/2015/09/how-much-did-big-pharma-pay-for-my-soul/
            Dr R Hahn accuses Edzard of fudging data to negate homeopathic study. Does Edzard make a specific reply: NO. He just runs down the person.
            https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2012/apr/03/homeopathy-why-i-changed-my-mind
            Edzard routinely mentions his training in homeopathy. Understanding of Homeopathic Materia Medica is 75% of homeopathic training. He has no clue about the basics of homeopathic remedies from the materia medica that are taught to first year students. Why does he claim that he learnt homeopathy?
            There is an endless list of such failures and deceptions. Why would he do so? One has to be really obtuse not to infer the reason.

            “But you obviously don’t understand science either.”
            I have a graduate degree with Physics and Chemistry as main subjects. Medical science, I did not study. Which science are you referring here?

            “In my experience, some of the most vociferous supporters of homeopathy and other anti-science `treatments’ do actually get paid to do it. They are practitioners who charge patients fees. Are you one of those? What is your affiliation?”
            None of above. I have experience of seeing homeopathy being prescribed from very close quarters and the outcomes. In many cases of patients who had been turned down by allopathic system as “cases with no recourse”. We have had homeopath doctors in the family for 3 generations and therefore the family never used allopathic drugs for 3 generations. That makes me a vociferous supporter who has enough facts and exposure to see that homeopathy works. My brother, the 3rd generation homeopath doctor works in a Government hospital. His regular patients are his colleagues: the allopathic doctors posted in the same hospital and their families.

            “With regard to the statistics you quote on iatrogenic deaths, you need to understand the principle of risk:benefit ratio. Science-based treatments have side effects because they have effects.”
            The risk reward ratio is a dud justification. The problem is that when the data was first updated, (Error in Medicine: Dr Leape) no one in the medical fraternity was ready to accept it. Only about 376 patients died every day because of side effects in USA.
            http://www.uphs.upenn.edu/gme/pdfs/Leape_Error%20in%20Medicine_JAMA.pdf
            In 2014 the figure for dead had reached 1000 patients/day: the 3rd largest killer in USA. Add to this the patients hurt because of such risks: about 10,000/day. Which science and risk are you referring to? Not included is the patients taking home chronic diseases that make their lives hell. Google “adverse effects of antibiotics on BMJ” and check outcome. Risk is for patients and reward seems to be enjoyed by the pharmaceutical industry: 325 millon Americans spend over $ 3 trillion every year on health care. Scientific medicine has made Americans really sick that they require such volume of medication: Europe is no different. In India, 5.8 million patients die or are maimed every year. You are from?
            You would be glad to know that when ever doctors strike work, mortality levels go down! Kind of proves a point!
            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953608005066

            “The meaningful statistic is whether the benefit is worth the risk. This doesn’t mean that we should calmly accept the risk and do nothing about it, which is why doctors are regulated and drug development is a continuous process.”
            The oft repeated, out dated phrase. Who took responsibility for the Vioxx killings. Or Actos? Or converting unsuspecting patients into diabetics by mixing medications? The list is endless. What is so scientific about it? Doctors push up to 23 medications/day on patients with no clue what is the effect of these chemicals when taken together. You have seen one study that has made an evaluation on effect of mixing drugs? There are none. The “continuous drug development activity” missed something important? Is Edzard listening?

            “In contrast, homeopathy is still stuck with the concepts of the 1790s.”
            If you write this, you have no knowledge about homeopathy. Read the 3 cases. That is ground reality.
            https://www.thequint.com/fit/if-homeopathy-is-hogwash-why-are-millions-still-buying-it
            Incidentally, in India we pay a premium for the local variety of vegetables, grains etc. that have been part of food, for hundreds of years against new hybrid variety of the same. The latest GM food variety is a BIG NO NO. In your country?

            “I’ll come clean and state that although I’m retired now, I spent 40 years working in Big Pharma. Nobody cared two hoots about competition from homeopathy. Not even one hoot actually.”
            I agree that these write ups against “complementary medicines” are NOT from the point of competition. These are used for covering up the death and maiming of the patients by all those involved in scientific medicine. 43 million people died or were hurt by scientific medicine in 2012. How many doctors, medical companies, were penalized for this disaster? That is the focus of Edzard’s job. And he is not the only one. Another site picked up exactly the same topic:
            https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/dont-drink-your-bath-water-epsom-salts-liver-damage-and-naturopaths/
            Dr Gorski, a board-certified surgical oncologist, writes about the same subject, missing out that EVERY YEAR 100,000 children die of cancer of which 80,000 could have been saved.
            “Each year, nearly 100,000 children under 15 die from cancer worldwide (Many would be less than 7 years old). That’s almost 250 children dying every day – a startling statistic given that about 80 percent of childhood cancers are potentially curable with existing treatments. (80,000 children being killed every year by SBM?) Too many children are dying from cancer.”
            https://www.cityofhope.org/
            Why would Edzard miss 288,000 diabetic deaths from doctor errors in his back yard, and Gorski miss 1.2 million deaths of children from cancer for the period they located 2 deaths from Epsom salt? Which was more important to write about? What more proof is required if the choice of subject is so biased? If Edzard allows access to the remittance into his bank account, no further discussion will be required.

            I am sure if you Google, you will find some more paid shills writing on the one Epsom salt death. It is extremely important by the likes of Edzard, to make sure to all, that there is only one scientific medicine. What would be the consequences for the doctors, if they were made accountable for each death? In India, a case of a 7 year old girl dying of dengue after being hospitalized for 14 days is being followed up on TV news channels. The discussion is about the Rs. 1.6 million (US$ 25000) bill handed over to parents by the hospital. No one discusses why the child had to die and which doctor should be made responsible.

            “ But you will have to do a lot better than conspiracy theories to make your accusations stick.”
            Did you know that the blood letting doctors (the scientific medicine of its time) killed George Washington, the President of America. No doctor was held responsible. I am not aware if they were paid by the American government for this effort. What would you have done?

          • The risk reward ratio is a dud justification

            Well Iqbal. I see that you continue to demonstrate your ignorance of the basic principles of health care sciences. You are not even familiar with the words used. Your opinion is actually not relevant. Not any more than if you wanted two plus two not to be four can you discount the value and importance of the risk-benefit ratio.
            Perhaps “risk reward ratio” is something taught in homeopathy? That Could explain your slip of tongue, seeing that homeopathy, like other quackery is fuelled by the reward of valuta and vanity.
            .
            Tell us Iqbal, you say you have a “graduate degree with physics and chemistry as major subjects”. Are you referring to homeopathy school? That would explain the alternative understanding you exhibit of these subjects. Or perhaps you managed to pass by doing well on the minor subjects? Please tell us more about yourself. Why are you so obsessively disgruntled with medicine?

          • I was stunned too at this fact. What kind of Physics and Chemistry goes hand in hand with homeopathy? Alternative Physics and Chemistry maybe…

    • 1 study puts Pomeranian dogs at an approximate incidence of Patellar Luxation of about 75%! Therefore, intermittent pain, limping and reluctance to climb stairs is not expected to be that rare an event for middle-aged Pomeranians, especially when faced with climbing stairsteps that have a significant relative height (considering a Pomeranian average height of 20-30 cm).

      So, cheering up a relatively old dog (and providing some water for amusement) seems to eradicate its reluctance to climb stairs. Try giving it the remedies and leaving it completely alone for a while next time, to see what really makes the difference, fellow Iqbal.

      Two infections successfully treated with antibiotics (although I cannot really know what was used, typical regimens last at least 7 days, but some shots are single, so it seems, so… what do I know) and one infection self-resolving in an adequate timeframe of 15 days are ample evidence for Iqbal that homeopathy works.

      I think the weirdest part is:

      Mid May, the problem re-started. I informed the local Vet that remissions were not acceptable.

      What happened? What exactly did fellow Iqbal go and tell to the Vet? “Look, Mr. Vet, I won’t tolerate remissions.” And the Vet agreed. No remissions are acceptable (what does this ultimately mean, again?)… Whatever!

      No remission since June simply means that the dog didn’t get an infection in the meantime. But for Iqbal, it means that the remedy prescription (i.e. water, water, water and water), strengthened the dog’s immune system and it will never get an infection again. It is disheartening that at this old age of the dog, Iqbal will henceforth try to cure infections with homeopathic remedies. Keep us updated fellow Iqbal, but be kind and extensive and don’t withhold results. Dear cute little Pomeranian, good luck…you’re gonna need lots of it, unfortunately…

      • James

        Great calculation assumptions sitting on your desk. Venus, our pet is 14 inches (35 cms) tall and the steps measure average of 8 inches (20 cms) each. That instance was the first time in 11 years and the situation is totally under control for 2 years.

        ““Look, Mr. Vet, I won’t tolerate remissions.” And the Vet agreed. No remissions are acceptable.”
        Not the same language, but the meaning was exactly the same. If the vet knew the problem, provided the correct drug, why should the problem reappear? The vet mumbled something about the extent of infection being more sever than he had assumed and increased the dosage. When the problem repeated in June, I gave up on the vet and the system. Homeopathy came to rescue. In June she was urinating blood again when we shifted her to the mixed course of remedies. The remedies were continued for one month. No problem since then. That is the power of homeopathic remedies. (water, water water….)
        You should have difficulty in understanding this.

  • Thanks (!) to a misguided relative believing in the fairy woo homeopathy I get cross-posted info on the vets battle on CAM practise. I was quite dismayed to hear that there even IS a Homeopathic veterinary society, but that to the side here is a member mentioning the usual subjects in “support” of dispensing sugar pills to animals. Sigh.

    The BAHVS have just received this from Isobel Hunt:

    The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons(RCVS) issued a Position Statement on complementary and alternative medicines including homeopathy on 3rd November 2017. By doing this, the RCVS is effectively trying to ban the use of homeopathy by holistic vets despite the fact that these vets are also conventionally trained members of the College; they simply have a range of other, certified, skills to utilise where appropriate.

    When challenged, the RCVS claims it is not a ban. However, the Statement says that all treatments should have a recognised body of evidence and / or be based on sound scientific principles. Since the College regards homeopathy as having neither, it is, in effect, banning this particular avenue of treatment. This has implications for other complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

    A rising number of holistic vet clients have voiced their concerns to the RCVS. Some of the key points raised include:

    1. The fact that the Statement was issued without appropriate consultation with key players such as the BAHVS.
    2. As clients, they have complete faith in the skills and integrity of their holistic vets with regard to the health and welfare of their animals.
    3. There is an increasing body of evidence supporting the efficacy of modalities such as homeopathy.
    4. This should become an opportunity for discussing and debating the use of homeopathy and CAM in general.

    A petition asking for the RCVS to withdraw the Statement had nearly 10,000 signatures at the time of this post illustrating the level of support for holistic vets.

    I wrote to the RCVS on the 8th November and received a general response reiterating the contents of the RCVS Statement. This prompted me to reply with the following letter to Luke Bishop in response.

    Dear Luke,

    Re: RCVS position statement on complementary and alternative medicines including homeopathy

    Thank you for your letter of 17th November 2017 received in reply to my letter of 8th November 2017. I have reread the RCVS Statement and also the appended FAQs you highlighted in your letter.

    I would like to say that I stand by the contents of my letter of the 8th November. I would also like to make the following points:

    1.Since all holistic vets are qualified Members of the College, the same as any other vet, why does it seem that their professional integrity is being questioned by the issuing of the November Statement?

    2.Why did the RCVS suddenly decide that it had to make such a statement when it had repeatedly regarded homeopathy to be a subject it should remain neutral over, most recently in June 2017?

    3.Given the significance of the College’s decision, as evidenced by the subsequent debate, how was the Statement reached and agreed without due input from key players such as the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons (BAHVS)?

    4.Why is the RCVS appearing to ignore the increasing and successful use of modalities such as homeopathy by farmers and their ‘conventional’ vets in the fight against antibiotic resistance in farm animals, particularly when this has huge implications for human as well as animal health? The World Health Organisation in it’s World Antibiotic Awareness Week 2017 highlighted antibiotic resistance and included the following quote in their Antibiotic Resistance Fact Sheet (updated, November 2017):

    “Antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today.”

    5.How does the Statement leave the UK organic farming industry that has to follow a certain protocol in order to gain and maintain organic status?

    6.Where does the Statement leave my holistic vet in contributing to and securing the health of my animals?

    7.I understand that the RCVS has to make a stand on animal welfare and that it is your first consideration as highlighted in the November Statement. I hope that as a regulatory body and through its world class professional standards, the Royal College can guarantee that all vets, holistic and conventional, have this at the forefront of their treatment and will strive at all times ‘to do no harm’. This has certainly and consistently been the case with both my local and holistic vets. I also understand the need to use modalities that have an evidence base demonstrating their efficacy.

    Why, therefore, is the College effectively seeking to close down certain avenues of treatment such as homeopathy when there is a growing body of evidence illustrating the effectiveness of such modalities? There are clear examples of randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled research demonstrating the effective use of homeopathy. I return to this in more detail below.

    Elaborating further on point 7, I am worried that although the Statement, as you say, doesn’t ban vets from treating animals with homeopathy per se, it is, in effect, a ban since it says there is no evidence for the efficacy of homeopathy. In your letter of 17 November you reiterate “(homeopathy) does not have a recognised body of evidence for its use,”. There is, however, a growing body of clear evidence. For example:

    1. Frass, M., et al. (2005). “Adjunctive homeopathic treatment in patients with severe sepsis: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in an intensive care unit.” Homeopathy : the Journal of the Faculty of Homeopathy 94”(2): 75-80. On day 180, survival was statistically significantly higher with homeopathy (75.8% vs 50.0%, P = 0.043). No adverse effects were observed.

    1. In 2014, the Homeopathy Research Institute highlighted 189 randomised controlled trials of homeopathy on 100 different medical conditions that had been published in peer-reviewed journals. Of these, 104 papers were placebo-controlled and were eligible for detailed review. An analysis of 1016 systematic reviews of RCTs of conventional medicine had strikingly similar findings. There is a clear basis here for more research and discussion about the potential use of homeopathy and CAM in general.

    The RCVS Statement also mentions that homeopathy “is not based on sound scientific principles.” I feel that the current scientific interest and research in quantum physics and quantum biology has much to offer. Mainstream scientists now agree we have gone beyond Newtonian physics in our understanding of the world – that there are things we see and can believe in, but don’t understand. I would like to draw your attention to two quotes from an article by Dana Ullman (a respected evidence-based qualified homeopath) in The Huffington Post, Compelling Facts, Figures and Scientific Studies about Homeopathic Medicine, 11/09/2017:

    “Skeptics of homeopathy commonly assert that there is “nothing” in homeopathic medicines except water, and yet, such skeptics only “theorize” that such assertions are true and have never proven this in controlled scientific studies. In comparison, research published in the American Chemistry Society’s leading scientific journal, called Langmuir, has confirmed in controlled studies that “nanodoses” of homeopathic medicines remain in solution even after they are diluted 1:100 six times, 30 times, or even 200 times”.

    “It is widely known that our hormones and cell signal agents operate at the similar nanodose levels found in the above-mentioned important study. One must therefore wonder if skeptics of homeopathy also think that these vital physiological processes are placebo. If not, then their skepticism of homeopathy is either biased or simply uninformed. The bottomline is that conventional pharmacology journals, including Archives in Internal Medicine, have found that nanodoses are able to penetrate cell membranes and blood-brain barriers with much greater ease than large complex molecules…and nanodoses are considerably safer too”.

    Looking outside the UK, other countries ensure that their doctors and veterinary surgeons have training in CAM, including homeopathy, in order to add to their skill set. The value of this may be illustrated by France. The WHO Health Report 2000 rated France at the top of their health care table. This may be in part due to their more holistic health care training. For example, a large scale study (EP13 study highlighted by David Tredinnick MP, Hansard debate on Homeopathy and the NHS, 29/03/17) comparing conventional and homeopathic GPs in France showed that the latter prescribed far fewer drugs with the same or better clinical results at 20% less cost. Those integrating homeopathy into their treatment used around one third the antibiotics and psychotropic drugs and half the analgesics.

    I am concerned that by sticking to the November 2017 Statement, the College will stifle future innovation, research and evolution of new treatment modalities. To quote Richard Feynman (speaking to the National Academy of Sciences, 1955):

    “If we suppress all discussion, all criticism, proclaiming, “This is the answer, my friends; Man is saved!” we will doom humanity for a long time to the chains of authority, confined to the limits of our present imagination.”

    I hope that the RCVS will act with integrity by withdrawing its November 2017 Statement and welcoming an honest and open debate and discussion of what homeopathy and CAM have to offer. Only by doing this can the RCVS remain at the forefront of animal health and welfare in the UK and on the world stage.

    I look forward to your response to my letter.

    With best wishes,

    Isobel Hunt
    BSc, MSc

    • Ha! That eminent researcher Dana Ullman, publishing in that august scientific journal The Huffington Post! David Tredinnick, MP for Narnia. Do me a favour. The truth is that as better quality trials are done, the effect sizes for homeopathy get smaller not bigger:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10391656

      Isobel Hunt seems to think that nanodose means small molecules. What happens to the duck liver molecules in oscillococcinum? Does succussion split them? Garbled thinking. Overall I can’t imagine the RCVS taking the slightest notice of this.

    • I have only just become aware of this matter and this evening have read through these arguments relating to the RCVS November Statement.

      Thank goodness for the straight forward valid points addressed to the RCVS put forward by Isobel Hunt. I seems that the RCVS have succumbed to the influence of a group of anti homeopathy activists. They are ignoring the fact that vets using homeopathy are qualified veterinarians whose professional interest has lead them to broaden their areas of expertise to encompass other methods of treatment that can relieve animal suffering.

      I sincerely hope that the RCVS take note of Isobel Hunt’s request their November Statement is withdrawn. An “I don’t understand how it can possibly work so ban it” attitude is not the way forward.

      • “I don’t understand how it can possibly work so ban it” attitude is not the way forward.
        hardly the point!
        the point is that the evidence fails to show that homeopathy works in animals [or humans]!!!

      • Anne Taylor said:

        I [sic] seems that the RCVS have succumbed to the influence of a group of anti homeopathy activists.

        It always amazes me how quacks so easily jump to the conclusion that people have succumbed to bullying or are being paid by Big Pharma or some other grand conspiracy theory rather than accepting the fact that the summation of the best evidence says their cherished quackery is, well, quackery.

        An “I don’t understand how it can possibly work so ban it” attitude is not the way forward.

        You said you had read the RCVS statement, so it looks like you have simply failed to understand it.

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