So, the great commercial jamboree is going to take place again, in 2009 (March 2009). You bet! It brought in an additional 32,000 (and more) cats, dogs and rabbits onto the vaccination books. What's that worth? I don't buy vaccines now, so I don't know what money that will generate but, rest assured, it's a nice bundle. Hence you can expect massive national Waiting Room, TV, Newspaper and Internet coverage.


This year, horses will also be included.


Before taking the bait that's offered (a primary course for the price of a booster), be sure to inform yourself about both sides of the debate. The possible negative effect (side effects, adverse effects) of vaccination is information that is hard to find. The benefits will be trumpeted far and wide but the downside will most likely not be mentioned.

Knowledge and understanding enables you to make an informed decision. When you consent to vaccination for your animal, you sign up to both the good and the bad, the benefit and the harm.

While no observable ill-effect is the result of vaccination in many, for a significant number there may be problems. In extreme cases, an animal can die. In many cases, the shock to the immune system is not easily countered. A great many immune-related diseases start within three months of vaccination. In dogs, such diseases include allergy, colitis, atopy, epilepsy and auto-immune disease. In horses, such diseases as COPD, long-term malaise, skin disease etc. may arise soon after vaccination. Vaccines may contain mercury, phenol, formaldehyde and other poisonous substances, for which there is no safe dose. Vaccines may be manufactured using cancer DNA. Vaccines may contain animal tissues, carrying a possible threat of auto-immunity. There is no science to support annual boosting. These facts are not widely publicised.

There is an alternative, which is, as yet, unproven. Since no massive profits will result from research, funding for research is not forthcoming. I have offered DEFRA, at my expense, research into its efficacy in Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Blue Tongue and Avian Influenza. I have been turned down.

That alternative is the 'nosode' method (homeoprophylaxis) which is used for countless pets around the UK, without any obvious penalty. My own animals (cats, dogs and horses) are only given this method, never having received vaccination. Their lifestyles make them high-risk animals and we have even had cases of parvovirus, distemper, FeLV, Cat flu, FIP, FIV etc. on the premises, without any problem for my dogs or cats. Our horses were totally unaffected by a 'virus' that swept through a yard where they were staying, one winter. All the other horses were badly affected.

It is not my job to tell anyone whether or not they should vaccinate their animals. My job as a vet is to raise awareness and to help folk to inform themselves of all sides of the issue, so that they can base decisions on proper consideration.

"When men differ, both sides ought equally be heard by the public, for when truth and error have fair play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter"
Benjamin Franklin (1705 - 1790)

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