Protesters take petition to RCVS calling for rethink on homeopathy ‘ban’

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    [post_content] => Vets and pet owners took to the streets of London on Monday (January  15), protesting at the decision by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to discourage the use of homeopathy in veterinary care.

The group marched from the Houses of Parliament to RCVS headquarters in Horseferry Road to present a copy of a 15,000-signature online petition, calling on the college to rethink its position statement on complementary and homeopathic medicines.

The statement, published in November, urged vets to avoid treatments “not underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles” and also appeared to imply that any vet who prescribed an alternative treatment for a sick animal could be prosecuted on animal welfare grounds.

Chris Day, president of the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons (BAHVS), which organised the 50-strong protest, said the statement had been imposed without consultation with clients or the vets who use homeopathy.

“This is an attack on freedom of choice for clients and on the clinical freedom of vets,” he told Horse and Hound magazine.

RCVS president Professor Stephen May, who received the petition from the marchers with chief executive Lizzie Lockett, said the College was not attempting to ban homeopathy outright.

“What [the statement] does state is that, 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 on sound scientific principles,” Vet Times reported.

The Society of Homeopaths has also previously criticised the RCVS statement and the society's chief executive, Mark Taylor, said it continued to support the stance taken by BAHVS as fellow members of 4Homeopathy, the umbrella group for homeopathy organisations.
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Vets and pet owners took to the streets of London on Monday (January  15), protesting at the decision by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to discourage the use of homeopathy in veterinary care.

The group marched from the Houses of Parliament to RCVS headquarters in Horseferry Road to present a copy of a 15,000-signature online petition, calling on the college to rethink its position statement on complementary and homeopathic medicines.

The statement, published in November, urged vets to avoid treatments “not underpinned by a recognised evidence base or sound scientific principles” and also appeared to imply that any vet who prescribed an alternative treatment for a sick animal could be prosecuted on animal welfare grounds.

Chris Day, president of the British Association of Homeopathic Veterinary Surgeons (BAHVS), which organised the 50-strong protest, said the statement had been imposed without consultation with clients or the vets who use homeopathy.

“This is an attack on freedom of choice for clients and on the clinical freedom of vets,” he told Horse and Hound magazine.

RCVS president Professor Stephen May, who received the petition from the marchers with chief executive Lizzie Lockett, said the College was not attempting to ban homeopathy outright.

“What [the statement] does state is that, 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 on sound scientific principles,” Vet Times reported.

The Society of Homeopaths has also previously criticised the RCVS statement and the society’s chief executive, Mark Taylor, said it continued to support the stance taken by BAHVS as fellow members of 4Homeopathy, the umbrella group for homeopathy organisations.

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