September 11 , 2006
Volume IV, No. 6
The ISVMA has made available copies of two flyers (Business Practice Program & Just for Laughs) that we hope you will print and post on your message boards for staff. There are many excellent programs at the ISVMA Convention designed specifically for veterinary technicians and practice personnel. Additionally, any paid registrant is welcome to attend all sessions except the two wet labs that are designated for veterinarians only.
Please encourage your associates and staff to attend this outstanding Convention. You will not find a better program anywhere and your attendance will help guarantee that future ISVMA conventions will be just as incredible!
The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) just released the "Compendium of Veterinary Standard Precautions" which is available in the ISVMA Library. The compendium's "Appendix D: Model Infection Control Plan, 2006" is also available in a separate Word attachment so that veterinary practitioners can download it and adapt it to their individual clinics.
These documents provide valuable, usable, and practical guidance for preventing zoonotic pathogen transmission in private veterinary practices.
Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau
(09-09) 04:00 PDT Washington -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California proposed legislation Friday to crack down on animal rights activists who make threats or commit violence against people engaged in research using animals.
The bill, which the Democrat introduced with Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, would toughen federal criminal penalties for causing physical harm to people or making threats to researchers or their families. It would also boost penalties for causing economic harm to companies or universities engaged in research using animals that are frequently destroyed in the course of lab work.
Proposed penalties in the bill, which is a modification of legislation Inhofe had previously offered, include life in prison for incidents in which someone is killed.
It's unlikely the measure will reach the Senate floor this year, with just about a month left before Congress expects to recess for the fall campaign.
The killing of animals for research, along with nonlethal practices that activists say amount to animal torture, has spurred some to violence, including an August 2003 bombing outside the Emeryville laboratories of Chiron Corp., another bombing a month later at Shaklee Corp. in Pleasanton, ongoing threats against UCSF researchers and the firebombing this year of the home of a UCLA researcher.
"The deplorable actions of these eco-terrorists threaten to impede important medical progress in California and across the country,'' Feinstein said in a statement Friday.
Her staff said the senator got involved in the issue after Californians targeted by animal rights groups contacted her office.
Inhofe has held hearings into the issue, one of which in October 2005 featured an exchange with Dr. Jerry Vlasak, a Southern California trauma surgeon who is a leader of the North American Animal Liberation Front.
The senator asked Vlasak if he stood by his earlier statement about animal researchers that "I don't think you'd have to kill, assassinate too many. I think for 5 lives, 10 lives, 15 human lives, we could save a million, 2 million or 10 million nonhuman lives.''
"You're advocating the murder of individuals, isn't that correct?'' Inhofe asked.
"I made that statement, and I stand by that statement,'' Vlasak said, saying animal researchers are engaged in "speciesism."
"These animals are being terrorized, murdered and killed by the millions every day,'' he added.
By Sarah Casey Newman
When we remember the heroes of 9/11, we must not forget the courageous canines who tunneled tirelessly through burning rubble in search of victims of America's worst terrorist attack. Who dug undaunted through millions of tons of debris to detect infinitesimal human remains. Who returned dog-tired at the end of long shifts and still found the strength to comfort rescuers in need of their touch.
Nona Kilgore Bauer has not forgotten these four-footed patriots. The award-winning writer salutes them in her latest book, "Dog Heroes of September 11th: A Tribute to America's Search and Rescue Dogs" (Kennel Club Books, 232 pages, $29.95).
A lush, coffee-table compendium with more than 250 compelling, color photographs, the book shines a spotlight on 78 amazing animals, whose handlers recount their dogs' noble efforts in the aftermath of 9/11.
Bauer introduces canines who came from across the country to the World Trade Center, to the Pentagon - and to the lesser-known Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island, where the wreckage from the Twin Towers was hauled. The debris was sifted through by more than 60 canines, affectionately dubbed "dump dogs" by the rescue crews.
Although June was one of the first search and rescue dogs to arrive in Shanksville, Pa., where United Airlines Flight 93 went down, she never worked the site. No dogs did. " 'There was simply nothing there, just a huge hole in the ground,' " June's handler recalled.
June is not among the 78 stars that Bauer highlights with their own special "portraits in courage." But she is one of the many often-overlooked search dogs that Bauer salutes as she opens a window onto the world of these indispensable canines - from who they are, to the types of jobs they do, to the intense training they endure to become members of this elite breed class.
In addition, the author applauds the veterinarians and vet techs who volunteer for the Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMAT), which provide on-site care for both the rescue dogs and the animals that are rescued during disasters.
She also gives a nod to DOGNY, the collection of painted rescue-dog statues displayed by the American Kennel Club on the first anniversary of 9/11 as a tribute to these four-footed heroes.
In a chapter devoted to an ongoing study on health problems associated with the dogs of 9/11, Bauer notes that no statistical difference in the mortality rates of 9/11 and non-9/11 dogs has been found, nor is there any clear evidence of adverse medical or behavioral problems. But, she stresses, researchers have cautioned that it may still be too soon to draw such conclusions.
Another chapter highlights the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, a nonprofit organization that recruits dogs from shelters and breed rescue groups, trains the dogs in search and rescue, then pairs them with firefighters and other first responders at no cost.
Sales from "Dog Heroes of September 11th" benefit the foundation, which you can learn more about at www.searchdogfoundation.org.
Three dogs profiled by Bauer have St. Louis area connections:
Dutch: A Portuguese water dog with Missouri Task Force 1 and Gateway Search Dogs, this cadaver-wilderness search expert lives for search work, according to owner Connie Millard, who spent 11 days with him at the World Trade Center. The actual work of searching the pile didn't bother Dutch. "It was the resting and waiting that took their toll," she said.
Max: A German shepherd with Missouri Task Force 1 and Marion County, Max worked at Ground Zero with Annette Zintsmaster and her husband, Tony, along with Kaiser, also a German shepherd - making them one of only two or three family teams to work at the site, according to Bauer. Max was always ready to search, even as a game, and always ready to be petted, which was as comforting to him as it was to the rescuers, Zintsmaster recalled.
Hawk: An Australian shepherd belonging to Cathy Schiltz of Missouri Task Force 1. "Hawk is cross-trained for human-remains detection as well as live find, so he was eager to search regardless of the task," Bauer writes. During his week at Ground Zero, he earned such a reputation as an alert dog that his 12-hour shifts usually stretched to 14 and 16 hours. "I do think Hawk is a hero," Schiltz said. But, she added, echoing the sentiments of so many of the handlers, "he was just doing his job.'"
Two ISVMA members have reported that a company called Med Life Supply from Culver City, California recently shipped their practices unordered latex gloves. Shortly thereafter, the practices received invoices for the latex gloves at an outrageous cost of approximately $240 a case. Veterinarians in Nebraska and Florida have also reported similar incidents with Med Life Supply.
The company appears to be targeting medical practices. The Georgia Optometric Association warned their members about the scam and Med Life Supply Company in particular back in March of 2006. Their warning is still located on their website.
Office supply scams typically target small businesses and non-profit groups, costing them an estimated $250 million each year. Fraudulent sellers also cost legitimate office supply companies about $125 million in lost revenues annually. The FTC has battled office supply fraud for many years in the courts and has undertaken substantial efforts to educate businesses on how to recognize and avoid the scam.
This type of fraud, which involves the deceptive sale of non-durable or consumable products that are used in the course of business and purchased on a regular basis, continues in part because the pool of potential victims grows each year.
Typically, in an "Office Supply Scam" a company calls businesses or non-profit organizations, misrepresents their identity and the cost of the office supplies, and then ships and demands payment for grossly overpriced merchandise.
If you have been impacted by this particular scam, please contact the FTC and file a complaint by using their online complaint form.
As part of its consumer education drive, the FTC has prepared some tips for small businesses to avoid being scammed by fraudulent office supply telemarketers and others:
Two of the ISVMA regions have supplied programs and schedules for their upcoming fall meetings:
Northern Illinois VMA (Region 6)
Kankakee Valley VMA (Region 5)
The Nene (pronounced "nay-nay") (Branta sandvicensis) is a land bird and a variety of Hawaiian Goose. It has adapted itself to life in the harsh lava country by transforming its webbed feet into a claw-like shape and modifying its wing structure for shorter flights. Hunting and wild animals all but destroyed the species until they were protected by law and a restoration project was established in 1949.
The shy Hawaiian Goose is unique to the islands but seems to have missed out on the great mythologies of the Hawaiian people; although it is mentioned in the Kumulipo, the great creation chant, as a guardian. And the historian David Malo writes how the Hawaiian people loved the nene both for its flesh and for its soft feathers to make their kahili (feather standards).
Perhaps the bird, unlike its migratory cousins, was too secretive and too modest in its daily endeavors and perhaps certain stories and chants, all orally transmitted, have disappeared, vulnerable to the erosion of time.
When Captain Cook arrived in Hawaii in 1778, there were around 25,000 Nene flocked around the islands of Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai. With him and his successors the natural balance of the islands changed. Deforested lowlands, trading, and development caused upheaval of habitat. Newly introduced predators, such as rats, mongooses, wild dogs and cats, made easy meals of the helpless Nene. And, not understanding the Nene's cycle, hunters killed breeding Nene in winter time. By 1950, the Nene was flying toward extinction, with less than a 50 remaining birds existing in Hawaii.
The Nene stands almost upright, with light-yellow cheeks, smoky-black feet and legs, and a striped pattern of buff-gold feather-tips against a black feather-base on its neck. The Nene has adapted to the arid and desolate lava fields of the Hawaiian islands. It scrambles along over the rough terrain with partially webbed feet, hunting for carefully selected leaves, berries, and grass blades. While it eats it moans the soft nay-nay sound after which it is named.
Nene breed in the Fall and Winter. The female incubates 1-5 eggs for 30 days while her lifemate watches guard. After hatching, the goslings won't fledge for another 2 1/2 to 3 months. This is also the time that the adults replace their feathers and are temporarily flightless. It is the most vulnerable time for the nene as a flock. After this vulnerable period the nene can reach the age of 25, perhaps older, if allowed.
Thanks to funding and restoration efforts the Nene has made a partial comeback. On the island of Hawaii, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, an original habitat for the Nene, has developed a carefully monitored recovery program. Open-topped pens provide lava and open-pasture settings where Nene can breed protected from predators. In addition, the Park attempts to enhance foraging habitats for wild-nesting nene by mowing certain areas, planting native food-plants, closing places off from visitors, and supplementing food and water in safe locations.
The fight against non-native predators, for the sake of Nene eggs, goslings, and adults, is an ongoing struggle for the Park. Goslings have a hard time surviving, with predation, starvation, and careless drivers all hitting the youngsters hard. Perhaps because of poor nutrition, a relatively low percentage of adult birds attempts to breed.
In the summer of 1997 the total Nene count for the State of Hawaii came to a mere 890, with 375 birds on the Big Island. There are now 200 Nene in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
The Nene is still as vulnerable as ever and maybe even more so. It is still listed as endangered. An ancient Hawaii bird that carries the history of an island in its genes is struggling to survive. It could disappear, just as the stories did. Careful conservation efforts are necessary to prevent this tragedy.
I photographed these Nene on the road to Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge on the Big Island of Hawaii in July of 2006.
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