A website poking fun at veterinary homeopathy has become the unlikely symbol of a global backlash by conventional vets against their homeopathic colleagues, according to New Scientist magazine. The “British Veterinary Voodoo Society” (BVVS) is a parody, but its creators say they are making a serious point: that the claimed effectiveness of homeopathic veterinary medicine has no more solid scientific evidence behind it than voodoo. They object to a decision by the UK’s Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) to publish an official list of homeopathic vets, which they say undermines the credibility of conventional veterinary medicine.
In May 2005 John Hoare, a homeopathic veterinary surgeon, submitted a complaint against “the Officers of the British Veterinary Voodoo Society” to the RCVS, claiming the website “writes disparagingly about other veterinary surgeons”.
Supporting his complaint he submitted photocopies of four pages from the site, not including the two pages containing the strongest criticisms of homeopathic vets. Says the site’s author: “I wonder if there were other points made on those pages which he didn’t want to put in front of the RCVS?”
On being notified of the complaint, the voodoo vets responded, explaining the concept of satire, and asking the RCVS to give details of what constituted ‘disparaging remarks’. “Then we … declared that our web site represented justified criticism of a practice which was demonstrably inimical to animal welfare.”
No doubt this story has more to run.