April 5 , 2006
Volume III, No. 21
Senate Bill 711 sponsored by Senator Maggie Crotty (D-Oak Forest) passed the Senate this afternoon on a vote of 59-0 and will now be sent to the House of Represenatives for consideration. The bill must also be approved by the House of Representatives before the end of the legislative session (scheduled for April 12, 2006).
Representative Frank Mautino (D-Spring Valley) has agreed to serve as chief sponsor of Senate Bill 711 in the House of Representatives. He is an enthusiastic supporter and motivated to help us get the bill passed before adjournment.
The ISVMA backed proposal would establish an easy to comprehend and implement sales tax procedure for Illinois veterinary practices. It would also help prevent adverse tax audits that result from a constantly changing interpretation of tax compliance by the Illinois Department of Revenue.
If you would like to read a summary of the ISVMA Tax Proposal contained in Senate Bill 711 please click here (note: you will have to enter your username/password to access the ISVMA Member Center. Follow the directions in the entry form exactly).
The efforts of ISVMA member veterinarians that used the ISVMA Legislative Action Center and/or called their legislators helped build the strong support for Senate Bill 711 we saw demonstrated in today's Senate vote.
227 veterinarians and 12 veterinary students responded to the most recent ISVMA Action alert. These grassroots advocates sent a total of 640 emails and 22 letters to members of the Illinois General Assembly. I talked with many legislators during the past few days that told me that they had heard from veterinarians on the bill. Every one of them told me that they would support us!
There are 177 members of the Illinois General Assembly (59 Senators and 118 House Members). Our grassroots lobby effort reached most of them:
Thank you for your help! In the next few days, there will be additional ISVMA Action Alerts. We will ask you to send thank-you messages to your state legislators for their support of Senate Bill 711. We will also ask you to send a message to the Governor asking him to sign the bill into law after it has passed the House of Representatives.
It is not too late to still contact your House of Representative members to support Senate Bill 711! Please link to the ISVMA Legislative Action Center and use the Action Alert buttons!
Regarded as the embodiment of cunning, the Red Fox is believed by many field observers merely to be extremely cautious and, like other canids, capable of learning from experience. Even when fairly common, it may be difficult to observe, as it is shy, nervous, and primarily nocturnal.
It eats whatever is available, feeding heavily in summer on vegetation, including corn, berries, apples, cherries, grapes, acorns, and grasses, and in winter on birds and mammals, including mice, rabbits, squirrels, and Woodchucks. Invertebrates such as grasshoppers, crickets, caterpillars, beetles, and crayfish compose about one-fourth of its diet.
The hearing of the Red Fox differs from that of most mammals in that it is most sensitive to low-frequency sounds. The fox listens, for example, for the underground digging, gnawing, and rustling of small mammals. When it hears such sounds, it frantically digs into the soil or snow to capture the animal.
The Red Fox is cat-like in stalking its prey. It hunts larger quarry, such as rabbits, by moving in as close as possible, then attempting to run the prey down when it bolts. The Red Fox continues to hunt when full, caching excess food under snow, leaves, or soft dirt. It probably finds its caches by memory, aided by smell, although other animals sometimes find them first.
An adult fox rarely retires to a den in winter. In the open, it curls into a ball, wrapping its bushy tail about its nose and foot pads, and at times may be completely blanketed with snow. Adults usually are solitary until the mating season, which begins (usually in late January or February) with nocturnal barking. The maternity den is established shortly after mating and abandoned by late August when families disperse. The female usually cleans out extra dens, to be used in case of disturbance, but the same one may be occupied for several years. Upon birth, most pups already show the white tail tip. When about one month old, the young play aboveground and feed on what is brought to them by their parents and sometimes by "helper" foxes, unbred females or female progeny that have not left the territory. Food is given to the first pup that begs for it, and some young may die in years when nourishment is scarce. At first, the mother predigests and regurgitates meat, but soon she brings live prey, enabling the kits to practice killing. Later the young begin to hunt with the parents. The kits disperse at about seven months, males traveling away up to 150 miles (240 km) or more, females usually remaining closer. Adults also disperse, remaining solitary until the next breeding season.
The adult Red Fox has few enemies other than humans and the automobile, but rabies, mange, and distemper are also problems. In the mid-18th century, Red Foxes were imported from England and released in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia by landowners who enjoyed hunting them with hounds. The Red Foxes in most of the U.S. are combined strains derived from the interbreeding of imported foxes with native races, which, encouraged by settlement, gradually expanded their range south from Canada. For years, unregulated trapping and bounty payments took a heavy toll on Red Foxes, but the collapse of the fur industry and the abolishment of most bounty payments have improved matters. With poultry farms made nearly predator-proof, farmers kill fewer foxes as well.
The Red Fox in the U.S. may be expanding its range, although competition with the Coyote, which is also spreading farther afield, may have a restraining effect.
I photographed this Red Fox near Clinton, IL in April 2004.
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