16 October 1998

Irish turn to homoeopathy

MORE than 20% of Irish milk producers have tried homoeopathic remedies to treat mastitis or high cell count cows and 43% believe that they work.

So said John Egan of the Dublin Central Vet Research Laboratory, following a recent producer survey. However, he warned that many studies show no benefit from homoeopathic treatments, compared with self-cure – when cows sucessfully fight the infection themselves.

"I cannot say whether they work or not, but evidence is needed to justify claims made for products." Much of the product evidence is anecdotal, he added.

In the herds surveyed, 50% added products to drinking water, 27% administered products by injection, 6% orally dosed cows and 6% of herds placed products in the vagina.