The European Parliament has backed the phasing out of antibiotics on farm animals for disease prevention in order to ensure such treatments remain effective for humans. Some farmers are already using alternative treatments such as homeopathy to prevent the spread of disease among their flocks.
The Parliament’s ’Resolution on the Public Health Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance’ calls on the European Commission to phase out the prophylactic use of antibiotics in livestock farming, calling instead for disease prevention through good hygiene, housing and animal husbandry, as well as strict bio-security measures. It has recommended the use of antibiotics as a ’last resort’ in exceptional, preferably individual, circumstances.
This development follows news that the EU is investing ’1.8m in a pilot research project to examine the effectiveness of homeopathic treatments on farm animals. With antibiotic resistance becoming a growing concern among farmers, the research will look at how homeopathy may be able to reduce the use of antibiotics in treating livestock.
Speaking on behalf of the UK’s Faculty of Homeopathy, homeopathic veterinarian Geoff Johnson spoke in favour of using homeopathic treatments on animals:
’Homeopathy is an invaluable tool on the farm, used by many farmers in the UK together with conventional treatment to reduce reliance on antibiotics. I’ve seen first-hand how effective homeopathy has been in treating sick animals.
Although to date there has been relatively little research into veterinary homeopathy, a number of Randomised Control Trials in the homeopathic treatment of a range of animal diseases have produced positive results. Clinical outcome studies into the homeopathic treatment of animals have also been positive. These results clearly indicate more research is needed in this area.
Some say homeopathy is just the placebo effect, but if that is the case, why have I seen it work so effectively for cows and other animals?’