Herbal horse wormers are among products to be scrutinised in a government “clampdown” on alternative pet remedies.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate announced the tougher stance on herbal and homeopathic remedies on 16 December, saying some products are putting animals at risk.

“Some herbal and homeopathic products claim medical benefits without scientific proof, meaning they may not properly treat or prevent serious diseases, leaving pets at risk,” said a spokesman.

Products targeted include homeopathic “nosodes” — derived from diseased animal tissues in the belief they act as vaccination; animal food supplements that claim to treat disease or bring extra health benefits; and herbal wormers, which claim to repel parasitic worms from livestock.

From now on, manufacturers must ensure they can demonstrate their products are safe and provide the benefits claimed on packaging.

The British Veterinary Association said it supported the move.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (23 December, 2010)