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Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy Files Suit in Virginia Court Against AAVSB
January 12, 2011, The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy filed suit in Virginia state court against the AAVSB for breach of contract and fraud in connection with the AAVSB's RACE committee failure to approve the AVH's 2009 Annual Conference.
By: Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy
AVH has alleged that RACE approved similar AVH programs in homeopathy and has honored its Provider Agreement with AVH continuously since 2000, prior to this sudden reversal of policy. In denying approval for the 2009 conference, AAVSB asserted that the program did not meet RACE Program Standards "because homeopathy is not currently taught in accredited colleges or schools of veterinary medicine," and the Standards require a program to "build upon or refresh the participant in the standards for practice and courses as found in the curriculum of accredited colleges or schools of veterinary medicine or accredited veterinary technician programs."
RACE has, however, approved AVH's nine prior conference programs under the same or very similar Standards, stating that each program did meet the Standards.
AVH is also asserting that AAVSB had no intention of approving AVH continuing education programs prior to inviting, and then accepting, AVH's Provider (renewal) Application in March 2009.
Shelley R. Epstein, VMD, a certified veterinary homeopath and former president of the AVH, served as chairperson for the AVH Annual Conferences from the fall of 2005 to spring 2010. She said, “During my tenure as conference chairperson, we invited world-renowned homeopaths with decades of experience behind them. We covered topics that we learned in veterinary school in courses like dermatology, animal behavior, herd health, infectious diseases, and oncology, and listened to presentations of dozens and dozens of case reports and case series like one in 2008 on feline eosinophilic granuloma complex. We encouraged presentations of clinical trials, including a large pilot study at a flat-racing barn (99 Thoroughbreds)
She added, "We were shocked that after nine years of approval by RACE, with a steady increase in the quality of our speakers and level of discourse, with an increasing amount of studies being presented, and with a burgeoning of the number of clinical trials and basic science studies at large, our 2009 conference was entirely rejected.”
State boards, which are charged with protecting the public, regulate continuing education on a state-by-state basis. While many of the state practice acts include clauses that enable organizations to apply directly to them for CE approval, some states will only accept CE from certain categories like complementary and alternative veterinary medicine if RACE grants approval. Jacqueline Sein Obando, DVM, a certified veterinary homeopath and current president of the AVH, indicated her concern for the conflict of the mission of the state boards and RACE’s denial of CE for the AVH. “Practitioners are aware that the public is becoming more and more interested in natural therapies for their pets, and organic farmers rely on these therapies to maintain certified organic herds. By rejecting CE by the main veterinary homeopathy certifying organization, RACE is making it more difficult to train qualified veterinary homeopaths and is in essence encouraging this ‘expertise’
In addition, Obando, who is also co-chairing AVH’s upcoming conference in Bethesda, MD, notes that this action on RACE’s part is defeating the benefits of the RACE committee. “If the RACE committee was formed as a central clearinghouse for CE approval, and AVH and other CAVM courses will no longer submit their conferences and courses for approval, the state boards will find themselves inundated with requests for CAVM CE application reviews, while the CAVM organizations and teachers will be in a position to potentially be sending out 50 applications for each event.” She notes that so far this year, every state that AVH has applied to for CE approval [for their upcoming conference] has approved the conference.
A trial date has not yet been set.
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Founded in 1995, the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy is comprised of veterinarians who share the common desire to restore health to their patients through the use of homeopathic treatment. Members of the Academy are dedicated to understanding and preserving the principles of Classical Homeopathy.