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Standing Up For Homeopathy

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On January 5, 2013, the AVMA’s House of Delegates, representing all of the states and many allied organizations, voted on a resolution submitted by the Connecticut State Veterinary Medical Association: “Homeopathy has been identified as an ineffective practice and its use is discouraged.”

At the initial Executive Board (EB) meeting, Dr. Doug Aspros, AVMA president, declared emphatically that this resolution did nothing to further the AVMA. He went on to say that such resolutions should be discouraged in the future. The EB then voted to recommend “disapproval” of the resolution.

The AVH and AHVMA will continue to work with the AVMA to defend clients’ rights to obtain homeopathic therapy for their animals from trained veterinarians.

Two representatives of the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy and two from the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association attended the AVMA meeting. They reported that a large number of delegates either practiced a CAVM modality, had an associate in their clinic who used one, or referred to a veterinarian who practiced one. The majority of the attendees were eager to learn more about veterinary homeopathy. The “Allied Associations” also held a meeting to discuss all the resolutions. This group includes such varied organizations as the American Animal Hospital Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the Student AVMA. The opinion of the Allied Associations was that this resolution should not be approved (that veterinarians should not be discouraged from using homeopathy in their practices).

The various speakers at the four major meetings emphasized that it is important that the AVMA represent “all segments” of the profession and that it is the AVMA’s job to bring the profession together and not discourage therapies.

They discussed that many therapies used by veterinarians in day-to-day veterinary practice have thin evidence bases. Stem cell therapy was cited as one example. They noted that clients have choices in the therapies they choose, and that it is most important that they can go to competent veterinarians. The House Advisory Council voted to recommend sending the resolution to the Council on Veterinary Services (COVS).

The resolution was not passed by the House of Delegates. It was referred to the Executive Board of the AVMA with the recommendation that it then be sent on to the COVS. They are preparing to do their five-year general review of all Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medical guidelines.

Supporters of homeopathy note that this is a time for other supporters to wait patiently, develop good relationships, and let the veterinary homeopaths interact with the AVMA. If letters are needed in the future, veterinarians and clients alike will hear the request from many sources.

Go to theavh.org/avma/index.html for the most current information.