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An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

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November 17, 2005                                                                                                Volume III, Number 11


©Peter S. Weber

In This Issue

·  Breed Specific Bans

·  ISVMA Supports Comprehensive Review of Illinois Animal Control Act

·  About This Photo

·  Convention Appreciation

Index of Links

· Whimbrel Photo

Contact Us

Information to Share with Clients Regarding Bans on Specific Dog Breeds

The ISVMA believes that veterinarians should be regarded as the primary authority on issues related to animal health and welfare. There are, at times, issues that generate considerable public and media attention. Veterinarians have an opportunity to share with their clients and the public the best available information on these issues. The information veterinarians share should be based on available science or opinion based upon the best available information and experience.

The recent incidents involving dogs viciously attacking people in the metropolitan Chicago area have resulted in a tremendous amount of discussion regarding the protection of the public from vicious dogs. Some are calling for a ban on specific dog breeds.

The ISVMA is making available to its members a memorandum that clarifies some of the issues regarding breed specific bans. We hope that this memorandum helps your clients better understand the scope of efforts to prevent vicious dog bites. If you wish, you may use all or parts of the following document to share with your clients and inform public opinion regarding this serious issue.

Click here to download the document


ISVMA Supports Comprehensive Review of the Illinois Animal Control Act

The ISVMA opposes efforts to ban certain dog breeds because they neither address the larger issues of protecting the public from vicious animals nor promote responsible pet ownership. ISVMA supports a comprehensive review of the Illinois Animal Control Act that will result in effective enforcement and administration of animal control and take constructive steps toward protecting the public.

The review of the Animal Control Act should include veterinarians, animal control officials, public officials, pet owners and humane organizations.

Thank You


I would like to thank the nearly 1000 people that participated in the 2005 ISVMA Annual Convention in Springfield on November 4-6, 2005. We hope you enjoyed the high quality continuing education, social events and many new features that were introduced this year.

All veterinarian and CVT participants will be receiving their CE Certificates in the mail in the next couple of weeks. We will also send a copy of the Convention Evaluation form and hope that you will take a few minutes to fill it out and help us continue to improve your ISVMA Convention experience!

Remember to mark your calendars to attend the 2006 ISVMA Annual Convention at the Wyndham Chicago Northwest Hotel in Itasca, IL on November 3-5, 2006.

About the Photo in This Issue...

Whimbrels are large waders with distinctive long down-curved bills. These bills allow them to probe deeply into mud for food. Whimbrels eat mostly burrowing crabs. But they will eat a wide variety of fish, crustaceans, aquatic invertebrates, insects, worms and mollusks. They also snack on seeds, berries and leaves, particularly in late summer as insect populations begin to dwindle.


Whimbrels generally feed alone or in small, spread out parties. At most times of year, they defend some kind of territory. On migration, they maintain a feeding territory that is guarded against other Whimbrels. But Whimbrels roost and migrate in large flocks. They prefer to roost on exposed shoals, tops of mangrove trees or in shallowly flooded clearings in mangroves which face the open sea.


Whimbrels breed in the sub arctic and arctic from Iceland across Eurasia, Alaska and Canada. They prefer to nest in boreal or low-arctic moorland and tundra next to the tree line. The male's courtship includes a high circling song flight comprising a prolonged bubbling. They don't have different summer and winter plumage.


Whimbrels are among the most abundant Curlews because of their extensive breeding range. Adult Whimbrels have few natural predators, aside from foxes and larger raptors. Few succumb to predation during migration, probably because they are very vigilant. Human impact is the biggest threat. Whimbrels are affected by habitat loss of nesting sites and refueling staging posts along the migration route, and pollution of shorelines. In the early 1900s, they were hunted in the US as they migrated south. The slaughter had reduced populations there from tens of thousands to a few hundred. Although hunting is less widespread now, there has been no apparent recovery to pre-hunting levels.


The Eskimo Curlew, a cousin of the Whimbrel, is thought to be extinct as a result of the same human imposed pressures that have reduced the population of U.S. Whimbrels.


I photographed this Whimbrel at Playa Del Ray, CA in September 2005.


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