November 7 , 2006
Volume IV, No. 12
ISVMA and Illinois Department of Revenue Agree to New Tax Rules
On Wednesday, November 1, 2006 the ISVMA and the Illinois Department of Revenue (DOR) finally reached an agreement on a proposed rules change that will address the issues raised in veterinary practice audits in 2004-2006.
ISVMA has placed a copy of the draft rules on the ISVMA website. The rules must now be reviewed by a bipartisan committee of the Illinois General Assembly called the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). The DOR hopes to have the rules in place by January 1, 2007.
The ISVMA will be scheduling a series of meetings for veterinary practices to learn how to implement the new rules, assure sales tax compliance and avoid future audit exposure. There will also be opportunities for non-compliant practices to take advantage of a voluntary self-audit and amnesty period where pentalties would be waived and only simple interest applied.
ISVMA STRONGLY encourages representatives from every Illinois practice to attend one of these seminars. The ISVMA tax consultants (J.D. Michael & Associates) will brief participants on implementation strategies and run through some scenarios to assist practices in meeting the requirements of the new rules.
A schedule of the sales tax seminars will be distributed as soon as it is available.
ISVMA Convention A "Huge" Success
The 124th Annual ISVMA Convention held at the Wyndham Chicago Northwest Hotel in Itasca, IL on November 3-5, 2006 was a tremendous success. Participants and exhibitors showed great patience as the rapid growth of ISVMA over the past two years stretched the conference facilities beyond their capacity. Many meeting rooms had to be relocated to accomodate larger than expected crowds and the exhibit hall was far too small for the number of exhibits and attendees to utilize it efficiently.
ISVMA appreciates the willingness of so many to share our growing pains. This year's convention is the last one booked in a facility unable to accomodate a large and growing convention. Next year's convention is scheduled for November 2-4, 2007 at the Peoria Civic Center. ISVMA is already raising the bar and building a bigger, better convention for everyone!
If you want a sneak peak at next year's General Session speaker, you can visit http://jonstetson.com/. ISVMA continues to offer incredibly talented speakers with international reputations!
Illinois Veterinary Heritage Collection and Information Commons - Only a Few Sponsorship Opportunities Remain
The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and the IVMF (the foundation arm of ISVMA) is moving forward with plans for a Veterinary Heritage Collection and Information Commons. The collection is envisioned as a place for veterinary students to study while surrounded by hundreds of artifacts and documents that bring to life the everyday efforts and extraordinary achievements of Illinois veterinary practitioners, educators, and researchers. The room will also feature state-of-the-art computer connectivity and spaces for individual and group study.
The proposed site for this collection is the second floor of the Veterinary Medicine Basic Sciences Building, just outside of the Office of Academic and Student Affairs, where students converge daily. Artifacts and historical documents have already been collected. As soon as financing is secured, construction of the space will begin. We hope to begin the construction as early as May 1, 2007.
We are inviting individuals, practices, classes, or other groups to sponsor display cabinets within the collection. You can see what the display cabinets look like by visiting the Veterinary Heritage and Information Commons website. Only six (6) display cabinets remain to be sponsored.
If you are interested in helping to create this space, which will unite our proud heritage with our emerging future, please contact either Peter Weber, ISVMA Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Brenda Betts, assistant dean for advancement, at email@example.com.
Help ISVMA Reach Its Membership Goal!
In May 2004, the ISVMA Board of Directors established a goal of serving 2000 members by July 1, 2007. We’ve made significant progress toward that goal and we need your help to achieve it! We are currently 29 members short of our goal and would like you to sponsor a colleague for membership.
The goal of 2000 members isn’t an arbitrary number nor is it about money. When we reach 2000 members we will represent 70% of the state’s licensed and practicing veterinarians. Compared to other Midwestern states (who represent up to 95% of their eligible veterinarians), Illinois will need to continue working toward deeper membership saturation. Our ability to influence state legislation and agency rules and regulations is directly related to the strength of our organization. Two years ago, when we represented less than 50% of the State’s veterinarians, we didn’t have a very strong voice. Our strength and influence is growing as our membership expands – and it is not a coincidence!
Here's how you can help:
— Email, fax or hand deliver a copy of the ISVMA membership application form to a colleague, staff or business partner. Be sure to remind them to print your name on the "Who introduced you to ISVMA" sponsor line!
— Download and print or fill out the membership application form (be sure to name your sponsor).
— Feel free to pass along an overview of member benefits.
— Need help recruiting or have questions? Please contact your friendly member relations team at (217) 523-8387 or firstname.lastname@example.org!
Why should you recruit a new member for ISVMA? You are the greatest testimony to the benefit of an ISVMA membership, and by sharing the value with your colleagues you will...
— Enhance the power of the veterinary medical profession in Illinois – the more members we represent the stronger our voice at the Illinois State Capitol and the state regulatory agencies;
— Strengthen ISVMA – as our membership grows the value of membership will also grow;
— Expand your network of veterinary professionals;
— Earn statewide recognition as a new member sponsor.
AVMA Seeks Veterinary Leaders
Nominations are invited for 77 vacancies on AVMA entities and 14 liaison positions. The House of Delegates will fill council openings when it meets in July 2007 in Washington, D.C. The Executive Board will make liaison and committee appointments at its April 2007 meeting.
Nominating materials for councils—including instructions for publishing biographic sketches of the candidates in the 2007 Campaign Guide—were sent in August to AVMA delegates and chief staff officers of organizations represented in the HOD. Others may obtain council and committee nomination forms on the AVMA Web site, www.avma.org/about_avma/governance/default.asp, or by calling AVMA headquarters at (800) 248-2862, Ext. 6651 for councils, Ext. 6605 for committees.
Council nominations must be postmarked by Feb. 1, 2007, and sent to Dr. Bruce W. Little, AVMA executive vice president. Trust, committee, and board nominations should be postmarked no later than March 9, 2007, and sent to J. Karl Wise, PhD, AVMA associate executive vice president.
AAEP Develops Guidelines for Infectious Disease Outbreaks
The Infectious Disease Task Force of the American Association of Equine Practitioners has developed guidelines for use by veterinarians who encounter contagious infectious disease in horses.
Equine Infectious Disease Outbreak: AAEP Control Guidelines offer recommendations for the control of suspected cases of infectious respiratory tract, neurologic, diarrheal, and vesicular disease. The sign-based guidelines provide a detailed action plan for veterinarians once a case of infectious disease is suspected. The guidelines offer measures to control the spread of infection, diagnostic testing options, and communication considerations.
Highlights from the guidelines include biosecurity instructions in English and Spanish for horse caretakers, recommendations for the implementation of a management plan before an outbreak occurs, and disease-specific guidelines.
The guidelines are available to AAEP members through the members-only area of the AAEP Web site, www.aaep.org.
The above update is courtesy of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
About the Photo in This Issue...
The Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis) is a medium-sized goose with a white face and black head, neck, and upper breast. Its belly is white. The wings and its back are silver-gray with black-and-white bars. During flight a V-shaped white rump patch and the silver-gray underwing linings are visible.
Barnacle Geese frequently build their nests high on mountain cliffs; away from predators (primarily Arctic Foxes and Polar Bears) but also away from food. Instead of bringing food to the newly hatched goslings, the goslings are brought to the ground. Unable to fly, the three day old goslings jump off the cliff and fall; their small size and very light weight protects them from serious injury when they hit the ground. They are then led by the parents to nearby wetland feeding areas.
The English name of this species, and the scientific name of the Brent Goose (B. bernicla) and the Goose Barnacle, come from the old fable that Barnacle Geese were produced from barnacles, organisms that grow on timber exposed to salt water. This was logical since these geese were never seen in summer, when they were supposedly developing underwater (they were actually breeding in remote Arctic regions). The legend was also convenient, because it enabled Catholics to classify these geese as fish and therefore to eat their flesh during Lent.
Barnacle Geese breed mainly on the Arctic islands of the North Atlantic. There are three main populations, with separate breeding and wintering ranges; from west to east:
Small numbers of feral birds, derived from escapes from zoo collections, also breed in several other north European countries. Occasionally, a wild bird will appear in the Northeastern United States or Canada, but care must be taken to separate out wild birds from escaped individuals, as Barnacle Geese are popular waterfowl with collectors.
I photographed this Barnacle Goose in LaSalle County, IL on November 6, 2006. It was in a borrow pit along with Canada Geese, Cackling Geese and a single Ross's Goose. The provenance of this rare bird will be hotly debated. If it is recogized by the Illinois Ornithological Records Committee as a wild bird, it will be the first recognized inland record of this species in the United States.
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