ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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August 12 , 2009


Volume VII, No. 3



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Roseate Spoonbill
Roseate Spoonbill
© Peter S. Weber
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In this Issue

New Law: Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Program Act

New Law: Veterinary Teaching Hospital Licensing

In Memoriam: Dr. William K. Specht

About the Photo

Contact Us

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New Law: Illinois Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Program Act

The ISVMA had several legislative initiatives in 2009, none of which was more important than House Bill 364 which would establish a Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Program to be administered through the University of Illinois. Governor Quinn signed House Bill 364 into law (Public Act 96-0142) on August 7, 2009.


This new law requires a loan recipient under the Program to enter into a program agreement under which he or she agrees to practice in (i) veterinary practice that is at least 51% devoted to large animal medicine that enhances agricultural animal health and productivity or (ii) regulatory veterinary medicine that supports public health and safety, livestock biosecurity, or food animal disease diagnosis for at least one year for each year in which he or she received a loan. It also sets forth penalties for failure to satisfy a program agreement and requires payments received by the University to be deposited with the University to support the Program.


It is important to clarify that this is enabling legislation only. Now that the Program is in law, ISVMA will begin working towards an appropriation from the Illinois General Assembly to fund it.


The FY2010 budget for the State of Illinois is still not fully resolved and discussions of funding and funding sources could occur at any time. The legislature is next scheduled to convene on October 14, 2009 for the Fall Veto Session.


Please look for legislative alerts and calls to action from ISVMA and help us advocate for funding of this important program!

New Law: Veterinary Teaching Hospital Licensing

ISVMA also initiated Senate Bill 1443 in order to clarify and align a series of exemptions related to licensure for the faculty and facilities at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. The Governor signed the bill into law (Public Act 96-0219) on August 10, 2009 and it became effective immediately.

In Memoriam: William K. Specht, DVM

William K. Specht, 85, died Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009, at his home in Milledgeville, IL. He was a veterinarian in the local area for many years.


William was born July 14, 1924, a son of Edward William and Bernice Wachs Specht. He married Anne E. Caveness on Sept. 2, 1950, in Champaign. She preceded him in death on Jan. 13, 2006.


William Specht attended Hoopole and Annawan schools. He received his bachelor’s degree from Northern Illinois University.


After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, through the GI Bill he went to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and in 1952 graduated in the first class of the College of Veterinary Medicine. He was a Life Member of ISVMA and had been a member for more than fifty years.


Survivors include two daughters, Patricia Specht of Milledgeville and Diana (Daniel) Saavedra of Roscoe; two sons, Edward W. (Anita) Specht of Rockton and Thomas (Elizabeth) Specht of Fredericksburg, Va.; one sister, Genevieve Waldbusser of Prophetstown; one brother and sister-in-law, Henry (Lucille) Caveness of Oak Harbor, Wash.; six grandchildren, Margarete (Matthias) Mittrach, Benjamin Specht, Carl (Samantha) Specht, Dale Specht, David Specht and Alexandra Saavedra; one great-grandchild, Marlene Mittrach; and a special friend, Viola Workman.


He also was preceded in death by two brothers, John and Paul Specht; and two sisters, Rosina Lindahl and Ruth Heller.

The funeral was held on August 11 at Milledgeville United Methodist Church, with Pastor Dan Sturtevant officiating. Burial was at Oak Knoll Memorial Park in Sterling.


Visitation was held on August 10 at the church.


A memorial fund has been established for Milledgeville United Methodist Church; Hospice of Rock River Valley; and Carroll County Soil & Water Conservation District.


Condolences may be sent to

About the Photo

The Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja) is a wading bird of the ibis and spoonbill family. It is a resident breeder in South America, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and the Gulf Coast of the United States. Vagrant birds have been sighted as far north as Delaware, Indiana, Kansas and Illinois.


The Roseate Spoonbill nests in trees, often mangroves. It is 31 inches tall, with a 47–51 inch wingspan. It is long-legged and long-necked and has a long, spatulate bill. Adults have a bare greenish head, white neck, breast and back, and are otherwise a deep pink. The bill is grey.


The sexes are similar, but immature birds have white, feathered heads and the pink of the plumage is paler. Their bills are yellowish or pinkish. Unlike herons, spoonbills fly with their necks outstretched. In 2006, a banded bird 16 years old was discovered, making it the oldest known individual in the wild.


This species feeds in shallow fresh or coastal waters on crustaceans, swinging its bill from side to side as it steadily walks through the water, often in groups. Roseate Spoonbills can be found feeding nearby Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, Tricolored Herons and American White Pelicans. Their spoon-shaped bill goes into the shallow muck of ponds, marshes and rivers. They do not eat fish, so they are not competitors for the fish that other wading birds are hunting.


I took this photo near the Padre Island National Seashore in the winter of 1999.

Contact Us

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