‘Voodoo’ pet remedies face clampdown

By politics.co.uk staff

Homeopathic remedies to your pets ailments are set to be heavily targeted under government plans.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is looking to scrutinise products and treatments not cleared by scientific testing which might put pets ‘at risk’.

John Fitzgerald, VMO’s director of operations, said: “Some of these products are claiming to be effective and safe when no scientific evidence has been presented to us to show they are.

“Animal owners have a right to know if a product does what it claims. The products claim to treat diseases which can cause serious welfare problems and in some circumstances kill animals if not properly treated. So in some cases owners are giving remedies to their pets which don’t treat the problem.”

Among the offending ‘alternative’ remedies being peddled which are to come under VMO’s gaze are herbal remedies purported as curing pets of worms and so-called ‘nosodes’ – pseudo-vaccinations made from diseased animal tissues.

Supplements claiming to improve your pet’s intelligence or cure diseases will also be subjected to the spotlight, as manufacturers are asked to provide evidence that their products are safe to use and perform the advertised functions.

Companies which continue to sell products not up to standard will be required to rebrand them to make clear to customers that they hold no medicinal value.

The campaign was welcomed by British Veterinary Association (BVA) president Harvey Locke, who added: “As veterinary surgeons we rely on the use of safe, effective and quality medicines for the health and welfare of animals under our care – and there must always be sound scientific evidence to back up medicinal claims made by the manufacturer of any product.

“Some of these unauthorised products may at the least be ineffective and at worst could cause harm because serious life-threatening diseases may go undiagnosed. We would urge animal owners always to check with their veterinary surgeon before giving any remedy or supplement to their pet.”