Yes you read it correctly. That famous/infamous organisation that among other crimes, apparently makes 70% of our laws, has just issued one of the most pro-homeopathic directives in many years.

In a front page article, The Telegraph reports that the European Commission issued a directive for organic farmers stating “it is a general requirement…for production of all organic livestock that (herbal) and homeopathic products… shall be used in preference to chemically-synthesised allopathic veterinary treatment or antibiotics.”

The article is far from being as pro-homeopathic as the EU directive. Even I,  a whole mammal physician (albeit all my patients are humans), have some problems with the wording quoted. I would prefer ‘used as a first choice wherever possible, practical and clinically viable to chemically-synthesised…’

The point is simple: Whole person medicine or whole animal veterinary medicine includes the use of antibiotics and pharmaceuticals. However if there is little risk of morbidity or mortality, there is an opportunity to try an intervention in the form of an holistic stimulus. This could be a change of diet, relaxation or yoga (in humans) an acupuncture treatment and ‘even’ a homeopathic remedy. If this fails or the condition worsens, it is absolutely mandatory for the practitioner to resort to pharmaceuticals or surgery. If this is what the EU Commission means, then they are to be commended for understanding and appreciating the principles and practice of all holistic vets and doctors.

The whole issue of veterinary homeopathy remains very interesting. For many people, the fact that owners of pets claim it works on their cats and dogs and farmers claim it works on their animals too – is powerful testimony to it acting over and above the derided ‘placebo effect’.