Integrative veterinary medicine: A discipline to be taken seriously

The Austrian Chamber of Veterinarians is committed to integrative and complementary veterinary medicine. With a statement, the Chamber creates awareness among public and colleagues. In order to anchor integrative medicine more firmly in the hands of veterinarians, better framework conditions are needed.

The published list of requirements shows which support measures must be taken – whereby the close cooperation between university and practice forms a proven foundation.

Position Statement, 2019

Integrative Veterinary Medicine: a discipline to be taken seriously

Veterinarians who offer integrative medicine or complementary medicine have recourse to a broad spectrum of disciplines and treatment methods based on other models of the development of diseases and their treatment than those of conventional medicine. Integrative doctors are academically trained veterinarians who also apply methods of complementary medicine on the basis of their knowledge of orthodox medicine.

The range includes completely different approaches such as Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Neural Therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Chiropractic, Phytotherapy, Osteopathy.

The legal basis for the exercise of veterinary activities shall be as follows in § 12 of the TÄG. The exercise of integrative veterinary medicine is subject to a previous examination and diagnosis by a veterinarian authorized to practice the profession with a registered veterinary activity.

The Austrian Veterinary Chamber admits or demands

  1. To use integrative veterinary medicine as a supplement to the broad basis of conventional medicine.
  2. Anchoring the field of “integrative medicine or complementary medicine” in the academic education at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna.
  3. Postgraduate further education, supported by established associations and organizations.
  4. Promotion of active knowledge transfer about integrative medicine and educational initiatives within the veterinary profession.
  5. Medical knowledge transfer at eye level with other veterinarians.
  6. Respectful academically led discussion culture in veterinary hand.
  7. Unbiased interdisciplinary cooperation within the veterinary profession.
  8. Integrative medicine must remain in veterinary hands.
  9. Improvement of the legal framework for the application to food-providing animals.

The Austrian Chamber of Veterinarians would like to make the concerns of these integrative methods known to the general public in order to anchor these medical orientations in society through well-founded argumentation.

The image of complementary medicine among the population is very good; many animal owners ask their practising veterinarians specifically for supplements to conventional medicine. Also in the veterinary medicine training, the reception is large and the demand rises.

The effectiveness of many complementary medical treatments on animals can now be proven by high-quality studies. Medical progress also makes it possible to optimize scientific verifiability, which is always in the foreground.

European One Health Action Plan

In the “European One Health Action Plan” of the EU Commission against the problem of antibiotic resistance, complementary medicine is mentioned as a potential solution, more research in this area is being promoted and support promised by the EU Commission. the applications and techniques have been developed and have taken their rightful place in veterinary medicine – the close cooperation between university and practice forms a proven foundation.

For the Board of the Austrian Chamber of Veterinarians

Mag. Kurt Frühwirth
Mag. Dietmar Gerstner
Dr Andrea Wüstenhagen
Dr Gloria Gerstl-Hejduk

The position paper on integrative medicine can be found on the website of the Austrian chamber of Veterinarians.

The ‘Stellungnahme’ can be downloaded here and the positions of each Complementary Medicine can be downloaded here.


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