In The Politics of Autism, I look at the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism
The British Veterinary Association, which represents thousands of practitioners in the United Kingdom, felt compelled to hop onto Twitter last week to issue a notable statement: “There’s currently no reliable scientific evidence to indicate autism in dogs (or its link to vaccines),” the group wrote.
The tweet came in response to a widely condemned call-out from the television show “Good Morning Britain” for interviews with pet owners who believe their dogs developed “canine autism” as a result of vaccines or who refuse routine shots over worries about side effects. But the association also suggested its response had roots across the Atlantic: “We are aware of an increase in anti-vaccination pet owners in the U.S.,” it said, “who have voiced concerns that vaccinations may lead to their dogs developing autism-like behavior.”
Has the anti-vaccine movement, which has fueled measles outbreaks in recent years, spread to American pets?
Not exactly, according to major veterinary groups in this country. John de Jong, a Boston-area veterinarian and incoming president of the American Veterinary Medical Association, said his organization firmly agrees with its British counterpart: There’s no evidence for autism in dogs or any link to vaccines — a theory that has been thoroughly discredited in humans. But he also said he has never been asked by a client about this notion, nor does he know of other veterinarians who have.Actually, as previous posts noted, this silly idea does have a toehold in the United States. Alas.