The RCVS has announced its official position statement and guidelines on complementary medicine are under review.

The RCVS’ decision to review its guidance on complementary medicine was made “in light of a number of factors”.

In a two-line statement, a spokesman said: “At the RCVS standards committee meeting on Wednesday 25 January, there was extensive discussion regarding complementary medicines.

“The outcome of these discussions is the college’s current position statement and guidance regarding complementary medicines will both be reviewed, and this is now ongoing.”

The spokesman declined to make further comment or indicate any timescale for a decision when approached by Veterinary Times.

Previous statement

In a previous statement, the RCVS said the decision to review on 25 January had been made “…in light of a number of different factors”.

It said: “This includes changes to the way that homeopathy is viewed by the NHS, as well as a recent statement made by the Advertising Standards Authority regarding its advice and guidance on claims made in marketing materials [including websites] about homeopathic treatments.”

Earlier in January, the RCVS set out its current position on complementary therapies, including homeopathy, with the following statement: “As the regulator of the veterinary profession, we emphasise the importance of evidence-based veterinary medicine.

“We recommend that there should therefore be a cautious approach to homeopathy for animals and that normal evidential standards be applied to complementary treatments.

“We believe it is also essential such treatments, until they can be proved, are complementary rather than ‘alternative’ and that they are therefore used alongside conventional treatment.

“However, whatever views there may be within the veterinary profession, it is clear that there is a demand from some clients for complementary therapies for their animals. It is better that they should seek advice from a veterinary surgeon… rather than turning to a practitioner who does not have veterinary training.”

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