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An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

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August 29, 2005                                                                                                Volume III, Number 5


Red-tailed Hawk
©Peter S. Weber

In This Issue

·  Governor Signs Animal Population Control Act

·  Veterinarians as Tax Collectors

·  Practice Management Seminar

·  Dinner at the Abraham Lincoln Museum

·  About This Photo

Index of Links

·  Public Act 94-0639

·  Amendments to HB315

·  ISVMA 2005 Annual Convention Home Page

·  Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

·  Red-tailed Hawk Photo

Contact Us

Governor Signs Animal Population Control Act


Last week, the Governor signed House Bill 315 (the Animal Population Control Act) into law. If you wish to view the full text of this new law, please click here.


Now Public Act 94-0639, this was the legislative initiative of the ASPCA that so many of you assisted ISVMA in first opposing and then amending to remove a terrible precedent - what would have been the first state tax on medical service. To refresh your memory of the amendment you can click here to visit the page that ISVMA created to outline the changes.



Can Counties Require Veterinarians to Collect Rabies Tax?


The Animal Control Act gives apparent authority to counties to require veterinarians to collect the county rabies tax. This authority preceded the passage of House Bill 315 (see above).


Until recently, this authority was exercised by only a few Illinois counties. However, in recent years a number of counties have chosen to pass the responsibility for collecting the rabies tax along to veterinarians. ISVMA is aware of this growing tendency on the part of counties and the problems it causes in veterinary practices.


During the next legislative session, ISVMA will be supporting several amendments to the Animal Control Act - including language addressing the apparent authority of counties to require veterinarians to collect the rabies tax. We will work closely with animal control administrators to make sure that the amendments address the major issues facing animal control and private practice veterinarians. Please watch the E-SOURCE for opportunities to help ISVMA in this important lobby effort.


Moving Your Practice From Good to Great: The Nuts and Bolts

A Special Practice Management Seminar for Illinois Veterinary Practices 


On Friday November 4, 2005, at the 2005 ISVMA Annual Convention in Springfield, ISVMA is offering a full-day practice management seminar.


David McCormick, principal of the McCormick Consulting Group, will discuss what it takes to provide quality medicine and exceptional service, the importance of teamwork, and what everyone on your team needs to understand if you want to run a great practice. He'll tell you when you can do it alone and when to work with consultants, as well as who is responsible for educating your clients, and when. He will also challenge you to determine if you are providing exceptional service or dollar-store service and conclude by showing how planning for the future requires understanding the present. Owners, doctors and practice personnel are encouraged to attend this seminar as a team.


Keep the weekend of November 4-6, 2005 open to attend the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association’s Convention. The practice management seminar is just one small part of a high-quality program that includes an outstanding speaker lineup, ophthalmologic and dental radiography wet labs, special Sunday program for recent graduates, expanded practice personnel breakout sessions, fun and exciting social functions and much more!


You can download an ISVMA Convention Prospectus and register online by visiting the 2005 ISVMA Convention Home Page at:


 ISVMA Convention Home Page


You're Invited to Have Dinner at the Brand New Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum


Have you heard about this exciting opportunity? If you attend the ISVMA convention, you can join your colleagues in having a full-china dinner at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum!


On Friday evening, November 4, 2005, ISVMA President Wesley Bieritz and his wife Sheila will host the President's Dinner at this museum of unparalleled size, originality, and educational promise. The Museum contains 46,000 square feet of permanent exhibits – double the size of their counterpart at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, until now the nation's largest.

Combining impeccable scholarship with brilliant showmanship, the new museum's permanent exhibit galleries carry visitors on twin journeys from a crude, overcrowded Indiana cabin to
Ford's Theater and a reproduction of the House Chamber in the Old State Capitol where Lincoln's flag-draped casket lies in state. Along the way, you will be treated to a 250 seat multi-stage and screen presentation ("Lincoln's Eyes"), a stunning holographic theater ("Ghosts of the Library") bringing Lincoln documents and artifacts, literally, to life; a Treasures Gallery housing icons like the Gettysburg Address; and a separate children's area called "Mrs. Lincoln's Attic."


The museum will be open exclusively to ISVMA convention registrants who choose to participate in this exciting opportunity to witness history with their friends and colleagues. There are only 250 tickets available for this event, so please register early to make sure you get your ticket!


ISVMA would like to thank Midwest Veterinary Supply for their sponsorship of this unique and exceptional convention activity!


You can download an ISVMA Convention Prospectus and register online by visiting the 2005 ISVMA Convention Home Page at:


 ISVMA 2005 Convention Home Page



About the Photo in This Issue...


The Red-tailed Hawk is the most common and widespread hawk in North America. It is a bird of open country, frequently seen sitting on utility poles where it watches for small mammals in the grass along the roadside.


Cool Facts:

·         The raspy cry of the Red-tailed Hawk is used in movies to represent any eagle or hawk anywhere in the world.

·         In the courtship display a pair of Red-tailed Hawks soars in wide circles at a great height. The male will dive down in a steep drop, and then shoot up again at nearly as steep an angle. He repeats this maneuver several times, and then approaches the female from above. He extends his legs and touches or grasps her briefly. The pair may grab onto one other and may interlock their talons and spiral toward the ground.

·         Red-tailed Hawks mate in the spring. They perform a sort of courtship "dance" where the male and female dive and roll in the sky. They will even lock talons (sharp toes) and fall together awhile before splitting apart. Both the male and female build the nest. They usually choose a very tall tree, such as an oak or pine, or a rock ledge.

·         Nests are built with sticks and lined with twigs, bark shreds, pine needles, and green plant material. The female hawk lays two or three white eggs with brown spots. While the female warms the eggs (for up to a month), the male hunts and feeds her. Young hawks stay in the nest for approximately one and a half months.

·         Once they leave the nest, the youngsters hop around a lot on the ground, looking for small prey such as insects and spiders. When they have perfected flying, they will begin to hunt larger prey from the air.

·         This hawk soars very high in the sky, hunting for food. They have excellent eyesight which is much sharper than a human's. A Red-tailed Hawk can spot a mouse from a height of 100 feet.

·         Mated Red-tailed Hawks will sometimes work together while hunting. An example might be chasing a squirrel around a tree until one of the hawks can catch it.

·         These hawks also hunt from perches, usually alongside a field. Most of their prey is small mammals, including: mice, voles, shrews, moles, squirrels, chipmunks, rats, rabbits, opossums, muskrats, cats, skunks, and bats.

·         Although they eat mostly mammals, there is a great variety of other animals Red-tailed Hawks will prey upon, including: snakes, turtles, frogs, lizards, salamanders, toads, ducks, bobwhite, crows, woodpeckers, starlings, doves, Red-winged Blackbirds, kingfishers, robins, owls, other birds, crayfish, centipedes, spiders, grasshoppers, crickets, beetles, earthworms, and fish.

·         Red-tailed Hawks will also eat roadkill (as shown in the photograph) and other carrion.

·         These hawks swallow smaller prey whole. Birds are beheaded, then eaten. Larger prey are killed with talons, and then pulled into pieces with the hawk's sharp, hooked beak. Red-tailed Hawks will steal from other raptors, such as eagles, owls, or other hawks. Red-tailed Hawks throw up pellets. When they swallow prey whole, they regurgitate (throw up) small balls of hair, feathers, and bone.

·         Predators of Red-tailed Hawks include Raccoons, Great Horned Owls, and Red Fox. Red-tailed Hawks can live up to 15 years in the wild.

I photographed this Red-tailed Hawk in November 2004 near Oquawka, IL as it was feeding upon recent roadkill.


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