Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, veterinarians serve a critical role in assisting their livestock clients to continue to produce safe, wholesome milk and meat and care for their animals during times of isolation and self-quarantine, according to the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP).
AABP is offering its members and all veterinarians who work with cattle several resources as they are part of a critical infrastructure industry.
“By developing easily accessible resources for our members, AABP is helping members navigate through the current COVID-19 epidemic,” said AABP president Dr. Calvin Booker. “While the priority for all of us is to make sure that everyone stays safe and healthy, it is also our responsibility to maintain animal health and welfare and try to make sure that clients are able to keep producing an ample, safe and secure food supply."
AABP executive director Dr. Fred Gingrich II added, “AABP recognizes the need to communicate to our members on the COVID-19 outbreak and how it might affect producers and veterinarians in the cattle industry. We have worked with allied organizations to ensure that the services our members provide are determined ‘essential’ and do our part to protect the nation’s supply of beef and dairy during this crisis. We will continue to monitor the situation and ask our members to communicate with producers and others in their community to decrease the spread of this disease.”
Booker noted that there are three main roles of AABP and organized veterinary medicine during this crisis:
- To provide easily accessible guidance and resources to cattle veterinarians.
- To answer questions through forums on organization websites or social media and/or provide links to other organizations for more information.
- As members of veterinary organizations, to advocate for yourselves, your employees and your clients. As an association, AABP will also advocate for veterinary medicine.
AABP is working with the American Veterinary Medical Assn., National Milk Producers Federation and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn. on communications to stakeholders and members about COVID-19. “These organizations are asking what cattle veterinarians need now,” Gingrich said. “We are having these conversations with our members and advocating that veterinary medicine is an essential service in the bigger food industry, and that we want to keep our employees and clients safe as well during this time.”
AABP COVID-19 resources
- * AABP COVID-19 Recommendations Document. To facilitate getting information into veterinarians’ and producers’ hands, AABP has developed a set of recommendations for cattle veterinarians and their clients. The document, “Resources for Cattle Veterinarians Regarding the COVID-19 Outbreak”, is available on the AABP website at https://aabp.org, or directly at https://aabp.org/members/resources/AABPcv19info.pdf. These recommendations include COVID-19 prevention in veterinary practices as well as on client farms. Also included in the recommendations are suggestions and resources for identifying stress or mental health issues in practice or with clients on-farm.
- * ABP COVID-19 Have You Herd? podcast. A new AABP Have You Herd? podcast featuring Gingrich, Booker, AABP treasurer and dairy veterinarian Dr. Brian Reed and dairy veterinarian Dr. Eric Rooker discussing financial aspects of rural practices during this pandemic, working with clients under new biosecurity recommendations, keeping practice and farm/ranch employees safe, telemedicine opportunities and more, all while helping clients continue to do “business as usual” as well as they can. Search "AABP" on the platform you use to listen to podcasts (Google Podcast, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, etc.). Or find it directly at https://www.buzzsprout.com/814177.
- * AABP online continuing education for veterinary schools. With the closure of post-secondary institutions to in-person teaching activities in response to the current COVID-19 epidemic, veterinary schools across the U.S. and Canada are working to develop online resources to augment teaching materials to meet student needs. In response, AABP is offering its resource of recorded RACE-approved scientific sessions from AABP annual conferences, recent veterinary graduate conferences and webinars, to veterinary schools to help bridge the gap.
“Veterinary students are the future of our profession; we all need to do our part to help them complete their formal education in these difficult times,” Booker said. “By making AABP’s member-only online (continuing education) sessions accessible to veterinary schools, the organization is once again demonstrating its commitment to the future of the veterinary profession.” The online sessions are available through a cooperative agreement with the Beef Cattle Institute at Kansas State University.