Yerevan, 22.February.2019,
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Vets: Ban the use of homeopathy in animals

About 1,000 of the UK's vets have signed a petition calling for a ban on homeopathy being prescribed to animals.

The petition calls on the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to stop vets from offering homeopathy on animal welfare grounds.

But the veterinary regulator says "it is difficult to envisage any justification" for a ban.

About one in seven practices offers some form of complementary therapy.

Figures suggest about 500 farmers and 40 vets are trained in homeopathy.

Danny Chambers, the Devon vet who started the petition on Change.org, said it had been signed by more than 1,000 British vets as well as others from around the world.

There are some 22,000 vets in the UK.

"We think vets these days should be offering 21st Century medicine," he told BBC News.

"It's been shown that homeopathy doesn't work, so it probably shouldn't be offered any more even if it is offered with good intentions."

According to Mr Chambers, prescribing homeopathy is an animal welfare issue and fails to meet the standard required for scientific veterinary practice.

"A veterinary surgeon should have an accredited degree from an accredited university, and they shouldn't be using treatments that have been disproven," he said.

"Animal welfare undoubtedly suffers if people give homeopathy instead of proper treatment."

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, which regulates the veterinary profession, says it recommends "a cautious approach to homeopathy for animals".

In response to the petition - due to be submitted on Friday - it said given demand for complementary therapies it was better clients sought advice from a veterinary surgeon - who was qualified to make a diagnosis, and could be held to account for the treatment given - rather than turning to a practitioner with no veterinary training.

The statement added: "Furthermore, homeopathy is currently accepted by society and recognised by 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 practising homeopathy."

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