In WP 4 protocols / decision trees for the diagnostic procedure and the use of homeopathic treatments have been elaborated. Five questionnaires have been addressed to different stakeholders in Germany, France and Spain to assess the manageability of alternative treatments according to the state-of-the-art. The results of the surveys displayed considerable heterogeneity in the use of homeopathic remedies among the farms. Main barriers regarding the appropriate use of homeopathy have been identified.
Additionally, legal and factual prescriptions and constraints in connection with the use of alternative treatments by veterinarians and animal healing practitioners in various European countries have been assessed. The options to make use of homeopathic products are regulated in most European countries. However, extent and depth of detail of the regulations vary to a high degree between countries. The results indicate that the expertise in homeopathy available in farm practice varies considerably between farms and evoke relevant questions on the success of treatments and prevention of farm animals from an extended suffering.
A randomised clinical control trial (RCT) and a field trial were conducted to assess the effectiveness of the homeopathic treatment strategy. In the RCT, three treatment strategies (use of allopathy, homeopathy, and placebo) in cases of bovine clinical mastitis were assessed. The clinical control study showed that a successful treatment depends to a high degree on the pathogen species that might have caused the clinical mastitis. For the responsible use of antimicrobial remedies, it should be mandatory to take milk samples for microbiological analysis before starting the mastitis treatment. The choice of whether or not to use antimicrobial or other remedies should in the first place be made on the basis of laboratory results.