Members of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners could vote in August on whether to change their organization's name.
At a meeting in March, members of the AABP board of directors overwhelmingly spoke in favor of changing the last word of the organization's name to "Veterinarians," said Dr. M. Gatz Riddell, executive vice president of the AABP. He said there was more uncertainty over whether the organization should keep the word "Bovine" in the name or switch that word to "Cattle."
The possible changes would be intended to improve understanding about the association. Dr. Riddell said the organization recently discovered, through a survey of 300 decision makers in Washington, D.C., that the AABP did not rank as high in credibility as some other veterinary organizations, including the AVMA and American Association of Swine Veterinarians.
Dr. Riddell said some members have questioned the need for a change and indicated they do not find it to be a problem to explain what a practitioner does.
He noted that the AABP's mission statement includes providing leadership on issues important for the cattle industry. The name "veterinarian" has more innate credibility than "practitioner" does, and anything that impedes communication or challenges the organization's credibility hurts the ability to provide leadership on critical issues such as animal welfare or antimicrobial use, he said.
The name change is intended to affect the perceptions of people outside veterinary medicine, such as consumers, legislators, and news media.
The AABP's April newsletter included a poll, which was due back May 15, intended to advise the board on members' opinions of a name change.
A name change would have to be accompanied by a change in the organizational bylaws, and those changes would have to be presented to members at least 30 days prior to the annual business meeting Aug. 21, where regular members, honor roll members, and honorary members present for the meeting would vote on the measure. A two-thirds majority would be needed to change the bylaws.
The meeting will be part of the AABP conference Aug. 19-21 in Albuquerque, N.M.