Promotion of ineffective therapies

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The Board resolved that:

Resolution 1

“Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) resources will not be used to promote therapies that, in the Board’s opinion, are not compatible with current understanding of physiology and pathophysiology, and have been demonstrated to be ineffective by the current accumulated body of knowledge”.

Resolution 2

“The veterinary therapies of homeopathy and homotoxicology are considered ineffective therapies in accordance with the AVA promotion of ineffective therapies Board resolution”.

Background

As professionals, veterinarians are free to choose the therapies they use, and this resolution is not intended to affect clinical decision-making.

The AVA’s overall constitutional objectives are to “promote and advance veterinary and allied sciences within Australia”, and one of the core values is “Knowledge – we base our decisions on evidence, and actively seek out knowledge”.

Therefore the association’s resources must not be used to support and promote practices that, in the opinion of the AVA Board, have been demonstrated to be ineffective as therapies and that are not compatible with current understanding of physiology and pathophysiology. This means that the Board considers that the accumulated body of knowledge does not support continued use of these therapies.

For the purposes of this resolution, the term ‘promote’ means to advance or encourage the use, and publicise the efficacy, of a particular veterinary therapy.

The resolution means that therapies resolved by the Board to be ineffective cannot:

  • Be the subject of AVA continuing professional development activities
  • Earn AVA Vet Ed points
  • Be promoted on AVA websites
  • Be promoted in AVA publications, including division, branch or special interest group publications.

Presentations, articles or debates to discuss scientific evidence both for and against particular therapies are excluded from the definition of ‘promotion’. AVA resources may be used for presentations or debates about therapies providing both sides of the discussion are included at the same time and given equal opportunity to provide information or answer questions.

Peer-reviewed journals published by the AVA are exempt from this resolution. Editors may publish peer-reviewed papers presenting evidence for or against any therapies if the papers are deemed of scientific value by independent reviewers.

Date of Board resolution 18 May 2012