ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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February 9 , 2007


Volume IV, No. 20



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Red-winged Blackbird
Red-winged Blackbird
©Peter S. Weber
click on picture to view larger image

In this Issue

ISVMA Lobby Day -
April 18, 2007

ISVMA Memorializes Two Young Veterinary Professionals

Illinois Child Labor Laws and Veterinary Practices

ISVMA Lobbyists Hard at Work

Tax Resources Available on ISVMA Website

Another Tax Seminar?

ISVMA Member Prospect Letter

About The Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




Save the Date - ISVMA Lobby Day is April 18

The ISVMA will hold its Lobby Day on April 18, 2007 in Springfield. We invite all veterinarians to come to Springfield to get a briefing from the ISVMA lobbyists on the key issues impacting veterinary medicine and instructions on how to communicate our positions to your state legislators.


We hope to have at least one veterinarian from each of the 118 state legislative districts participate this year.


Please email and let us know if you would like to participate in this important grassroots lobbying program. If you plan to join our advocacy force, we will send you more detailed information regarding our issues and meeting information as we get closer to the event.

ISVMA Board Memorializes Two Young Veterinary Professionals

The Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association supports several scholarships at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Among them are annual scholarships for each of the four ISVMA Class Representatives.


The ISVMA Board voted at their February 3, 2007 to name the 4th Year ISVMA Class Representative Scholarship the Clint L. Franks Memorial - ISVMA Scholarship and the 3rd Year ISVMA Class Representative Scholarship the John T. Creasey Memorial - ISVMA Scholarship.


The unexpected death of these two exceptional young men within weeks of each other has shocked and saddened so many in the profession. Please show your support for their families, colleagues and friends by helping the ISVMA build an endowment to permanently fund their named scholarships.


If you wish to support the endowment for the Clint L. Franks Memorial - ISVMA Scholarship and/or the John T. Creasey Memorial - ISVMA Scholarship you can make an online contribution to the Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation by visiting:


You may also mail your contributions to:


Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation


133 South Fourth Street - Suite 202

Springfield, IL 62701

Illinois Child Labor Laws and Veterinary Practices

In recent weeks the ISVMA has received several phone calls from veterinary practices regarding the child labor laws in Illinois.  The Illinois Department of Labor has started cracking down on veterinary practices that employ minors less than 16 years of age.  In Illinois, a child under the age of 16 may be employed provided that they have a current and valid work permit and meet the other requirements listed in the Child Labor Law (820 ILCS 205/), however, the law states that these minors may not work “in occupations which involve the handling or storage of blood, blood products, body fluids, or body tissues” as listed in 820 ILCS 205/7. 

The Illinois Department of Labor has interpreted this law to mean that minors, under the age of 16, may not clean kennels or work in any other position in a veterinary office that involves the handling of body (or animal) fluids.  This is not a new law nor is it a new interpretation of the law; we found a previous story done on this issue in a JAVMA article from 1998.  

ISVMA is monitoring the issue carefully and we are curious how significant this issue is to your veterinary practice.  Please take a moment to let us know how this law impacts your practice so that we will be able to better serve you. You can send your feedback to

ISVMA Lobbyists Hard at Work

The Illinois General Assembly met in Springfield this week and the ISVMA was busy lobbying on many issues including several animal control initiatives, state funding for the College of Veterinary Medicine and, of course, tax policy. The legislative session has only just begun; but it looks like it will be a very busy year!

Please remember to read your E-SOURCE newsletters for updates from the Capitol and take advantage of the ISVMA Legislative Action Center to communicate with your legislators and participate in the ISVMA Grassroots Political Network!

Tax Resources Available on ISVMA Website

The ISVMA has developed a resources page to help practices implement the new rule. Resources will continue to be added as we answer new questions and address issues raised during the seminars. Additionally, ISVMA is working on developing a message board so practices can review the questions already addressed by ISVMA and the audit consultants from J.D. Michael.


Please visit the Tax Resources page periodically to get updates and to send questions or comments to ISVMA.

Is There A Need for Another Tax Seminar?

ISVMA has received requests from a few veterinary practices to hold one more tax seminar. We are willing to conduct one more seminar (in Springfield) if there is enough demand. If you were unable to attend one of the previous seven seminars and want ISVMA to schedule one more, please let us know at

ISVMA Sending Member Prospect Letter

There are more than 700 licensed, practicing veterinarians in Illinois that still don't belong to ISVMA! We will be sending a member prospect letter and application to all of these veterinarians in the next few days.


ISVMA continues to earn the respect and support of our 2000+ veterinarian members and 400 student members. We need your help to reach out to those that don't understand the nexus between ISVMA and the health and maintenance of the veterinary profession.


Since we launched our ISVMA/College of Veterinary Medicine Class Challenge we have only signed up 5 new, University of Illinois graduate members! In order to succeed in the challenge, we need 94 more new members that graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine between 1980 and 2006.


Please forward this issue of the E-SOURCE to a classmate that doesn't belong and encourage them to join by filling out the online membership application.


If you want to know which of your classmates are not ISVMA members you can check online at:


If we can recruit 25% of the prospective members (99 new members) that have graduated from the University of Illinois in the last quarter of a century, Executive Director Peter Weber will make a $500 donation to the Wildlife Medical Clinic at the University of Illinois in honor of the class that has the highest percentage increase in membership! The challenge will run until June 30, 2007.

About the Photo in This Issue...

The Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) is perhaps the most abundant and most commonly studied bird of North America. It breeds in marsh and upland habitats from southern Alaska and central Canada to Costa Rica, and from California to the Atlantic Coast and West Indies. Although primarily associated with large freshwater marshes and prairies, it also nests in small patches of marsh vegetation in roadside ditches, saltwater marshes, rice paddies, hay fields, pasture land, fallow fields, suburban habitats, and even urban parks. This blackbird migrates to and from the northern portions of its breeding range, but some populations in the western United States and Gulf Coast are known to be resident year-round, as are populations in Middle America.

Although the Red-winged Blackbird varies in size geographically, adults of all populations are sexually dimorphic in size, plumage, and behavior. The male is larger, possesses the more conspicuous definitive adult plumage, and is more conspicuous in his behavior than is the female. In addition to its striking sexual dimorphism, the Red-winged Blackbird is also known for its polygynous social system. Up to 15 females have been observed nesting on the territory of a single male, making this one of the most highly polygynous of all bird species. Recent molecular studies have shown that territory owners do not necessarily sire all of the nestlings on their territories, which demonstrates that females as well as males often copulate with more than one partner during a breeding season and even for a single nesting attempt.

This blackbird is also known for its membership in huge, mixed-species roosts that form during the non-breeding season and for its ability to damage important crops such as corn, sunflower, and rice. Considerable effort, time, and money have been spent attempting to control blackbird roosts and to reduce crop damage. As a result of such control measures, humans are now one of the major sources of adult mortality in this species.

The male Red-winged Blackbird fiercely defends his territory during the breeding season. He may spend more than a quarter of all the daylight hours in territory defense. He vigorously keeps all other males out of the territory and defends the nests from predators. He will attack much larger animals, including horses and people.

The black male can hide the brilliant red shoulders or show them off in a dazzling display. The striped female looks strikingly different than the male and could almost be mistaken for a large dark sparrow. Different populations and subspecies of Red-winged Blackbirds vary markedly in size and proportions. An experiment was conducted that moved nestlings between populations and found that the chicks grew up to resemble their foster parents. This study indicated that much of the difference seen between populations is the result of the different environments.

I photographed this male Red-winged Blackbird doing a territorial display in Rochester, IL during July 2006.

Contact Us

Please feel free to forward this issue of the E-SOURCE to veterinarians that are not receiving ISVMA’s electronic newsletter. Any ISVMA member may subscribe to the E-SOURCE for free:

If you wish to add your name to the recipient list, send an e-mail to and ask to receive the E-SOURCE newsletter.

ISVMA values your membership and does not want to send you any unwanted email. If you would like to be removed from this member service, please email


Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
133 South Fourth St., Suite 202
Springfield, IL 62701

Phone: (217) 523-8387

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