Promotion of ineffective therapies
19 May 2022
The Board resolved that:
The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) supports evidence-based treatment decisions with a sound pharmacological and physiological basis to their actions. The AVA does not use its resources to promote therapies which have not been demonstrated to be safe or effective according to the current accumulated body of scientific knowledge.
Veterinary homeopathy and homotoxicology have not been demonstrated to be effective therapies and thus the AVA does not promote their use, in accordance with Resolution 1.
As professionals, veterinarians are free to choose the therapies they use, and this resolution is not intended to affect clinical decision-making. Veterinarians must always act in the best interests of their patients.
The AVA’s constitutional objectives are to “promote and advance veterinary and allied sciences within Australia”, and one of our 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, lack evidence of efficacy according to the best available scientific evidence.
Meaning of “promote”
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 ‘promote’ for the purposes of this resolution. AVA resources may be used for presentations or debates about therapies, on condition that both sides of the discussion are included and given equal opportunity to provide information or answer questions.
Peer-reviewed journals published by the AVA are also 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 through the process of independent peer review.
Date of Board resolution 18 May 2012, updated 19 May 2022