Renew Your ISVMA Dues Online Now
ISVMA members can now pay their dues online with a VISA or MasterCard. This added convenience is available through the ISVMA Member Center. When you click on the link, you will be asked to login to go to your account. If you have forgotten your username and/or password, click on the reminder link and the information will immediately be delivered to your email address.
ISVMA member dues invoices are in the mail and are due on June 30, 2010. Please pay your dues before the deadline to avoid any interruption in your membership status. When you pay your dues this year, please notice that the invoice form allows you to make additional contributions to the Veterinary Medicine Political Action Committee (VMPAC) and the Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation (IVMF). I hope that you take advantage of the opportunity to contribute whatever you can afford to these two other organizations that support the activities of ISVMA:
1. VMPAC helps improve both our visibility and the relationships local veterinarians have with their elected officials. These relationships pay off tremendously when we are lobbying for support of our legislative positions. VMPAC contributes to the campaigns of legislators who are friendly to ISVMA and our issues. Typically, we purchase fundraiser tickets and invite veterinarians from the legislator’s district to attend as representatives of ISVMA.
2. Donations to the IVMF, a 501(c)3 charity, are tax deductible and used to provide scholarships and to develop and support charitable programs related to the veterinary profession. 100% of every dollar contributed to IVMF is spent on the scholarships and programs established by the organization’s mission. All administration for the IVMF is donated generously by the volunteer board members and ISVMA staff.
Your support and participation are greatly appreciated. If you know a colleague or associate that is not a member of ISVMA, please encourage them to join now! Some of the benefits of membership are listed on the ISVMA website.
Thank you for your continued support and participation!
ISVMA LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT (Reminder)
Please Thank Your Legislators & Ask Governor Quinn to Approve HB5377
If you haven't replied to previous requests in the last two weeks, please take a few seconds to:
1. Send a note of thanks to your legislators for supporting House bill 5377; and
2. Request Governor Quinn's approval of the bill so that it will become law.
ISVMA legislative alerts can always be accessed in the ISVMA Legislative Action Center at http://capwiz.com/isvma/home/.
The changes recommended by the ISVMA to the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act of 2004 were passed unanimously by the Illinois General Assembly. House Bill 5377 passed the House of Representatives 114-0-0 on 3/18/2010 and the Illinois State Senate 53-0-0 on 4/28/2010. The bill must now be approved by Governor Quinn to become state law.
There were many important and needed changes in this legislation and it puts ISVMA in a strong position on future negotiations on more controversial issues that still should be addressed in the law.
AVMA Condemns Abuse of Dairy Cows Shown in New Video
SCHAUMBURG, Ill., May 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/
Upon viewing deeply disturbing new footage showing cows and calves being abused at an Ohio dairy farm, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today strongly condemned the cruelty and issued a call for stricter adherence to humane animal handling guidelines and standards.
The AVMA labeled the abuse, which includes cows being repeatedly stabbed with pitchforks, beaten with crowbars, and punched and kicked in their heads and udders, as barbaric, inhumane and unacceptable.
"What is depicted in this video is totally inexcusable and way outside of existing standards for the humane care and handling of livestock," said Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the AVMA. "If this is an accurate portrayal of what took place at the farm, we would encourage regulatory authorities to impose the most severe penalties allowed by law."
The undercover video, taped in April and May 2010 at Conklin Dairy Farms in Plain City, Ohio, was shot by the animal rights group Mercy for Animals.
Dr. Gail Golab, director of the AVMA's Animal Welfare Division, emphasized the association's zero-tolerance approach toward animal cruelty.
"Those handling animals must do so properly," Dr. Golab said. "The AVMA and its members have worked hard to get good animal care practices implemented on the ground and will continue to do so.
"AVMA policy clearly states that anyone who deals with animals has an obligation to stop -- and prevent -- all forms of cruelty toward animals," Dr. Golab added.
The AVMA urges law enforcement authorities to conduct a thorough investigation and to prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.
The AVMA has long-standing policies addressing the appropriate care and handling of animals used for agricultural production. They are available for review at www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/policies.asp.
The AVMA and its more than 80,000 member veterinarians are engaged in a wide variety of activities dedicated to advancing the science and art of animal, human and public health. Visit the AVMA Web site at www.avma.org for more information.
Note: the AVMA news release was issued today in order to comment on the video released today by Mercy for Animals (http://www.mercyforanimals.org/ohdairy/). For those of you who have not seen it, please be warned that it is graphic.
New Edition of The PLIT Veterinary Safety Manual - Now Available
The new edition of the PLIT Veterinary Safety Manual is now available. AVMA Online Training for a Safer WorkplaceFive offers free online safety-related courses for veterinary facilities and are available from the AVMA PLIT. The web-based employee training covers sections on: Personal protective equipment, animal restraint, bite prevention, lifting techniques, and slips, trips and falls.
Red Flag Rules will be Enforced on June 1, 2010
The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3763, proposing to exempt certain businesses (including veterinarians) with less than 20 employees from having to comply with the "Red Flags Rule." This bill replaces H.R. 2345 and now goes to the U.S. Senate. At this time, this bill has not been passed into law, and veterinarians are still expected to comply with the Red Flags Rule before the current enforcement date. On January 27, 2010, the AVMA and three other national medical associations petitioned the FTC to exclude health professionals from the Red Flags Rule, based on a recent court opinion that the Rule does not apply to attorneys. The FTC is appealing that decision, and on March 25, 2010, it responded negatively to requests from AVMA and the other medical associations.
For the complete background on the Red Flag Rules, click HERE.
AAHA Releases Guidelines on Diabetes Treatment
The America Animal Hospital Association has released guidelines for the management of diabetes mellitus in cats and dogs.
The introduction states, in part: “Treatment of DM is a combination of art and science, due in part to the many factors that affect the diabetic state and the animal’s response. Each animal needs individualized, frequent reassessment, and treatment may be modified based on response.”
The first section of the guidelines covers diagnostic criteria and initial assessment for diabetes. The bulk of the document addresses treatment for diabetes, with details about initial and ongoing treatment and monitoring of cats and dogs. Other sections provide additional information about blood glucose concentration, troubleshooting, and client education.
“Important differences exist between the development of canine and feline DM, and understanding these differences will help predict management success,” according to the summary section. “The recommendations made in this manuscript are intended to guide medical decisions and treatment choices, with the recognition that within each animal, variations in response will exist and no two cases are alike.”
The Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association published the guidelines in the May/June issue, and they are also available online at www.aahanet.org/resources/guidelines.aspx.
8 People Foods That Are Toxic to Pets
(May 26, 2010 - DVM360) Most pet owners have an inkling that chocolate is poisonous to pets, but do they know that other common foods may also be toxic for dogs and cats? From grapes to onions, here are eight of the most harmful people foods, along with information about how to handle affected pets. More...
IRS Issues Guidance on Tax Credits for Small Businesses That Offer Health Insurance
(SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - AVMA) The Internal Revenue Service has released guidance on new tax credits available to many small businesses that offer health insurance.
The major federal health care legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, includes provisions to increase the numbers of businesses that offer health insurance and individuals who purchase health insurance. The legislation provides for tax credits to help offset the cost of offering health insurance at small businesses with fewer than 25 full-time equivalents with average annual wages of less than $50,000.
The IRS has sent postcards to millions of small businesses to alert as many as possible to the new tax credits. The agency released Notice 2010-44 on May 17 to offer guidelines and examples to assist small businesses with determining eligibility for tax credits, calculating the credits, and claiming the credits.
Tax credits are available to small businesses that pay at least half the cost of single coverage for employees. Small businesses can receive tax credits not only for regular health insurance but also for add-on dental and vision coverage.
For 2010-2013, the maximum tax credit is 35 percent of the employer’s contribution to employees’ health insurance premiums. The maximum credit is for businesses with 10 FTEs or fewer and average annual wages of $25,000 or less.
Additional information about the tax credits is available at www.irs.gov under “Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions.” The site includes a three-step guide for determining eligibility, answers to frequently asked questions, and a link to IRS Notice 2010-44.
The IRS and Treasury Department are requesting input on additional topics to address in future guidance documents on the tax credits. The IRS will accept comments through Sept. 1 via e-mail at email@example.com, with “Notice 2010-44” in the subject line, and via mail at CC:PA:LPD:PR (Notice 2010-44), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044.
Zoo Association Compiles Volunteer Database for Oil Spill Relief
(SCHAUMBURG, Ill. - AVMA) The American Association of Zoo Veterinarians has established a database of volunteers willing to support relief efforts mitigating the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The database contains information about each registrant and will enable agencies involved in the cleanup to recruit people according to their expertise, availability, and so on. Registrants are encouraged to provide as much information as possible to make the database useful.
Registrants do not need to be veterinarians to register, and there is no fee for signing up.
Information contained in the database is made available only to agencies involved in the cleanup and only when requested by them. Not every registrant will be called on to volunteer.
For more information, visit the AAZV website, www.aazv.org; e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (904) 225-3275.
About the Photo
The Black-and-White Warbler (Mniotilta varia) is a small, black-and-white striped warbler with a white median head stripe bordered by black. It has a black bill, legs and feet. It is the only member of the genus Mnitilta, which means "moss plucking". They have an unusually long hind toe and claw on each foot. This adaptation allows them to move securely on the surface of tree bark. It forages unlike any other warbler by moving up and down the trunks of trees and crawling under and over branches in a style similar to that of a nuthatch. This habit of creeping around tree trunks and along larger branches in search of insect food in crevices or under the bark led to its old name, "Black-and-white Creeper." Unlike the Brown Creeper, which only moves up a tree, this species can climb in any direction.
The Black-and-white Warbler breeds from southern Mackenzie, northern Alberta, and central Manitoba east to Newfoundland, and south to southern U.S. east of the Rockies. It spends winters from southern parts of Gulf Coast states southward. Its preferred habitats include primary and secondary forests, chiefly deciduous. During migration it can be seen in parks, gardens, and lawn areas with trees and shrubs.
Note that this bird has a silver band on its leg. Bird banding is commonly employed to study the movements of birds and the activities of birds. It was a scientific method developed in the United States in the early 1900's. Birds are typically caught by the use of mist netting.
A mist net is a very fine mesh net that looks a lot like a hair net and, when mist nets are strung between poles, they are about seven or eight feet high and fifteen to twenty feet in length. The netting is almost invisible and the birds fly into them. The nets are loosely strung so there are pouches in which the birds get entangled. The bird bander regularly checks the net and, when a bird is caught in the net, very carefully removes the bird and attaches a very small aluminum band around the leg of the bird. Colored bands are also used in unique combinations so that birdwatchers using binoculars can look at the combination of bands and note if there is a red band over a green band on the left leg and a silver band over and blue band on the right leg and report the combinations and species to researchers.
The band contains a unique identifying number and some information so that if anybody else ever finds the bird they can note the information on the band and notify the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
A tremendous amount of information has been gained about the migration, breeding and wintering habits of bird species as a result of bird banding. In the case of some of the shore birds, sandpipers and other long distance migrants, it is possible to note migratory patterns, key migratory stops, even the annual recurrence of a particuclar bird in a particular place at a particular time. It is also possible to gather information on how far a bird migrates, how long it lives, what adaptations it makes because of habitat loss, etc.
A license is required to band birds.
I photographed this Black-and-White Warbler in the Rio Grande Valley in February 2010.
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