Top vet briefs MSPs on homeopathy and animal health

In March, an invited audience attended a presentation at the Scottish Parliament to hear how homeopathy could help reduce the over reliance of antibiotics in livestock farming. The event was organised by the British Homeopathic Association and hosted by Scottish Nationalist MSP Jim Eadie.

Under the heading “Cleaning Up The Food Chain – The Role Homeopathy Could Play”, veterinary surgeon Geoff Johnson explained how he and other vets have integrated homeopathy into veterinary practice and highlighted the benefits it can bring to livestock farmers. The audience heard how homeopathic vets are successfully treating a range of conditions and, despite limited research into veterinary homeopathy, of the positive RCT evidence in six clinical conditions affecting farm animals: infertility in cattle, mastitis in cattle, infectious diseases in pigs, neonatal weight loss in pigs, helminth parasitism in sheep and salmonella in chickens. Evidence supporting the efficacy of homeopathy in the treatment of humans was also presented.

The event was attended by several of MSPs, farmers, the Scottish farming press and members of the homeopathic community. Following his informative and thought-provoking presentation Mr Johnson answered a broad spectrum of questions from the floor.

Political interest in this issue is growing following the EU’s decision late last year to fund a €2 million research project to investigate how homeopathy can be used to treat farm animals and reduce the use of antibiotics. Health experts are becoming increasingly worried about the growing resistance to antibiotics among humans, which many scientists believe is caused by the overuse of these drugs in farming. At a recent conference of infectious disease experts in Copenhagen, Margaret Chan, director general of WHO, called for action to restrict the use of antibiotics in food production: “Worldwide, the fact that greater quantities of antibiotics are used in healthy animals than in unhealthy humans is a cause for great concern.”

MSPs who attended the event confirmed their strong commitment to working with the British Homeopathic Association in assuring the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee’s €2m research funding is appropriately targeted towards localised research projects in homeopathy and phytotherapy that will benefit Scotland and Scottish farmers.

Special thanks must be given to a number of people who made the event such a success: speaker Geoff Johnson; Jim Eadie MSP; Diane Goodwin, parliamentary aide to Dennis Robertson MSP and member of the Society of Homeopaths; Christine Lees from Homeopathy at Wellie Level; and event sponsors Freeman’s Pharmacy and Saltire Books.