ASHLAND, OHIO — The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) released a letter on April 8 to inform stakeholders of the group’s decision to refer to the disease recently spreading across dairy cattle in the United States as Bovine Influenza A Virus (BIAV).

The AABP collaborated with veterinarians, allied organizations, state and federal agencies, diagnostic laboratories and animal health officials on the emerging disease affecting dairy cattle.

The virus has previously been identified as avian influenza virus Type A H5N1, which causes highly pathogenic avian influenza in birds (HPAI).

However, the AABP noted that the virus does not cause high morbidity and mortality in cattle as it does in birds. Because of these differences, the AABP does not believe the disease should be referenced as ‘HPAI in cattle’ or ‘bird flu in cattle,’ rather be identified by its own name.

The AABP will reference the disease in cattle as BIAV from now on in its messaging and resources. It encouraged other organizations and entities to follow suit to present consistent messaging to the public that helps distinguish it from the pathogenesis observed in birds.

“We believe it is important for the public to understand the difference to maintain confidence in the safety and accessibility of beef and dairy products for consumers,” the AABP said.