ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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November 25 , 2008


Volume VI, No. 15



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Snail Kite
Snail Kite
©Peter S. Weber

In this Issue

Giving Thanks

NCVEI Releases Economy Tracker

Veterinarians Warn Pet Tax Will Cause Harm

Making the Case for a Strong ISVMA

FDA Revokes Order Prohibiting Extralabel Use of Cephalosporin

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




Giving Thanks

The Board of Directors and staff of the ISVMA wish to thank those that participated in the 2008 ISVMA Annual Convention held November 7-9 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center Hotel.


This year's convention set new attendance records - an increase of 20% over the previous record! The convention and session evaluations are outstanding and the exhibition hall was a great success for vendors and for veterinary professionals seeking information and shopping for bargains. The wet labs continue to be a highlight of our educational program and we welcome ideas for future wet lab offerings. Our general session speakers exceeded expectations and their comedy routines were a perfect compliment to the intensity of the educational program.


The leadership of ISVMA recognizes that the ISVMA Annual Convention is an increasingly important and relevant continuing education solution for veterinary professionals in Illinois. The CE requirements for license renewal will increase to 40 hours per two-year renewal cycle beginning January 1, 2009. Veterinary practices must have a high-quality, affordable and accessible education program to meet the diverse education needs of their staff and the ISVMA Annual Convention is uniquely positioned meet those needs.


ISVMA works hard to make sure that everything we do meets the high standards our members should expect. Member participation at the ISVMA Annual Convention makes it possible for us to retain the nationally-recognized speakers and quality program that has become an integral part of our brand identity.


The convention is also an essential part of the ISVMA budget and supports the association's mission of advancing the well-being of the veterinary profession, animals, the public and the environment. Effective advocacy is one of ISVMA's strengths and most important member benefits. Advocacy isn't a revenue generating function of the association, however. In order for ISVMA to support its governmental relations function, we have to generate revenue from other sources. The primary sources of income for ISVMA are membership dues, convention registration, exhibitor registration and sponsorship.


Three of ISVMA's top four revenue sources are dependent upon member participation at the annual convention. Exhibitors and sponsors will only support the ISVMA convention as long as we produce a large audience of potential clients and buyers of their products and services. Therefore, when you attend the ISVMA Annual Convention, you get a great educational experience AND you help ISVMA maintain the strong support of our industry partners!


If you attended this year's convention, please invite a classmate, friend, or associate that didn't attend to join you at the 2009 ISVMA Annual Convention!


Once again, thank you for your support. We look forward to the continued growth of the ISVMA Annual Convention and providing ISVMA members with the high-quality programs and services associated with the ISVMA brand.

NCVEI Releases the Economy Tracker

(Schaumburg, IL) The National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI) has released the Economy Tracker, its newest financial resource for veterinary practices.


The Economy Tracker is designed to measure the impact of the economy on veterinary medicine by comparing gross practice revenue, transactions and average transaction charge (ATC) between 2008 and 2007. Approximately 250 practices have already entered their data and revenue growth in companion animal practices has averaged about 5% in each quarter of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007. This is less than half of the growth seen in practices in the last several years.


In order to access more detailed comparisons, practices need only enter their monthly revenue and transaction information for 2007 and 2008. In addition to revenue changes, the Economy Tracker will also help practice understand why their revenue is changing by analyzing transaction and ATC growth. Ultimately information will be available by practice type (companion animal, equine, etc) and for various demographics (region, state, etc.) A detailed “Recommended Treatment” section discusses strategies for successfully weathering the economic downturn.


Not only does the Economy Tracker provide individual practices with information to withstand the current economic environment, this data will also help the profession gain a better understanding of how the economic times are impacting veterinary medicine overall. The NCVEI Economy Tracker and all other NCVEI resources are available free of charge to all AVMA and AAHA members at


The National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues was founded in January 2000 with a mission of raising the economic base of veterinary medicine. A wide-ranging group of benchmarking, pricing and communications tools are available, free of charge, at The Commission is a not-for-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors representing the three founding organizations: American Veterinary Medical Association, American Animal Hospital Association and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. Funding is provided by members of the NCVEI’s Sponsor Council that includes Merial, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Veterinary Pet Insurance, Fort Dodge Animal Health, Bayer Animal Health, CareCredit, Simmons Educational Fund and the Western Veterinary Conference.

Veterinarians Warn Pet Tax Will Cause Harm (with video)

KXTV (Calif.)
By Marcey Brightwell


(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) - Veterinarians are lining up against Gov. Schwarzenegger's so-called "pet tax," warning the proposed tax on veterinarian services will make it more difficult for families to give their pets needed care. (read the complete article)


Story courtesy of AVMA News Bytes

Making the Case for a Strong ISVMA

The preceding article (Veterinarians Warn Pet Tax Will Cause Harm) makes a strong case for why the ISVMA is so vital to the veterinary profession in Illinois.


Two years ago, ISVMA joined with other business and professional organizations to oppose a broader "professional services tax" that was being considered in the Illinois General Assembly. ISVMA Lobby Day participants joined in a rally on the Capitol steps to oppose this and similar plans.


The State of Illinois has serious financial problems and a number of ideas will be proposed in the next few years to help the State balance its budget and pay its bills. ISVMA will be in the Capitol every day to keep an eye out for anything that resembles a "pet tax" or broader professional services tax and will immediately engage the ISVMA grassroots advocacy program to oppose such measures and explain how they will negatively impact pet health and put increase the risk to public health.

FDA Revokes Order Prohibiting Extralabel Use of Cephalosporin

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is revoking the order prohibiting the extralabel use of cephalosporin antimicrobial drugs in food-producing animals. The agency is taking this action today so that it may fully consider the many substantive comments it received on the order of prohibition.


The order, which was to take effect on November 30, 2008, would have changed 21 CFR 530.41 to list cephalosporins as prohibited from extralabel use in food-producing animals. It was originally announced in the Federal Register on July 3, 2008 with a 60-day comment period and a 90-day effective date for the final rule; however, on August 18,
2008, the agency extended the comment period to November 1 to allow adequate time for interested persons to submit comments, thus delaying the implementation of the rule until November 30, 2008.


The agency received many substantive comments on the order of prohibition, and therefore, in order for FDA to fully consider the comments, the agency has decided to revoke the order. As a result, the order of prohibition will not take effect on November 30, 2008. Neither the order nor the change to § 530.41 that would have listed
cephalosporins as prohibited from extralabel use will take effect on November 30, 2008. If, after considering the comments and other relevant information, FDA decides to issue another order of prohibition addressing this matter, FDA will follow the procedures in
21 CFR 530.25 that provide for a public comment period prior to implementing the order.

About the Photo

The Everglades Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeous), the subspecies of the Snail Kite that occurs in the United States, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in Florida, but the species as a whole is not threatened in most of its range (southward of Florida to South America). The Florida population has become seriously reduced because many of the marshlands that serve as its habitat have been drained in order to develop the land. The loss of marshland means loss of the kite's prey species, the Apple Snail. The choking of marsh waters by water hyacinth also serves to reduce usable habitat for this species, because it hides prey from sight. Apple Snail populations have probably also decreased because of pesticides and other pollutants.


Ongoing efforts to maintain habitat and monitor water levels and Apple Snail populations appear to have helped stabilize the Everglades Snail Kite, and there is evidence that it is currently on the increase.


I photographed this adult male Snail Kite in the Miccosukee Indian reservation near the Shark Valley area of Everglades National Park in Florida on November 16, 2008. A very generous Native American took me out in the everglades on his airboat in order for me to get this shot. It is the only Snail Kite that I have photographed and the photo will always be one of my favorites because of the back story on how I obtained it.

Contact Us

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