ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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May 15 , 2007


Volume IV, No. 32



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Upland Sandpiper
Upland Sandpiper

©Peter S. Weber
click on picture to view larger image

In this Issue

Legislative Alert - Ask Your Senator to Support House Bill 3165

Dr. Jen and Sam Thompson Benefit

Horse Slaughter Ban Advances

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




ISVMA Legislative Alert - Please Contact Your State Senators

CLICK HERE to send an email to your state senator.


The ISVMA filed House Bill 3165 in the House of Representatives earlier this year to clarify a section of the Illinois Child Labor Law that restricts children under the age of 16 from obtaining work permits in environments in which their health is put at risk.


Current law prohibits a minor under 16 years of age from being employed, permitted, or allowed to work in occupations that involve the handling or storage of blood, blood products, fluids, or body tissues. ISVMA has proposed amending the law to limit the prohibition to human blood, human blood products, human body fluids, or human body tissues.


During the past year, several Illinois veterinary practices have been fined or issued cease and desist orders for having minors under the age of 16 working in their practices. Many young people who are exploring the possibility of a future in professional veterinary medicine would be shut out of opportunities to work in local veterinary practices if the Illinois Department of Labor continues their sudden enforcement of this obscure statutory provision.


The risk to minors working around animals is minimal. For instance, in a veterinary practice setting where appropriate safety standards are used, a child has much less chance of contracting leptospirosis than they would by swimming in their local lake or pond.

The country has a longstanding tradition of providing young people work opportunities in veterinary practices. The House sponsor of the bill, Representative Ed Sullivan, Jr., grew up working in his father's veterinary practice. He was shocked that the Illinois Department of Labor was interpreting this provision of the Child Labor Law in such a way to prohibit such opportunities for other children.

As a result of Representative Sullivan's support and leadership, House Bill 3165 passed the House of Representatives on a vote of 116-0. Earlier this week, it passed the Senate Labor Committee on a vote of 8-1.


ISVMA would like you to send an email to your state senator requesting their support of House Bill 3165 for final passage.

Illinois Veterinarians and Friends of Dr. Jen Thompson Ask for Support

On Saturday, June 16, 2007 friends and family of Dr. Jennifer and Sam Thompson will be holding a benefit in their honor to support the family they left behind. Dr. Thompson and her son Sam were tragically killed in an automobile accident on February 14, 2007.


The benefit will be held at the Lee County 4-H, Illinois Route 30, in Amboy. The doors open at 1:00 p.m. for a full day of activities:

1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Tractor & Car Show
4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Hog Roast
7:00 p.m. Live Auction


There will also be a 50/50 drawing, raffles, kid games, petting zoo, live music, and silent auctions.


Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at Holland & Sons in Dixon, Amboy Pharmacy, Green River Vet Clinic in Walnut or by calling John Stewart at (815) 695-5667 or Dona Nelson at (815) 857-2137. You ticket price includes the hog roast and a chance to win a John Deer riding mower.


For more information, visit

Ban on Horse Slaughter Advances in Illinois Senate

House Bill 1711 (Molaro/Cullerton) passed the Senate Public Health Committee last week on a vote of 7-0. The same bill passed the Illinois House of Representatives on a vote of 74-41 on April 18, 2007. The bill is now in a position to be considered for final passage in the Senate.

A synopsis, bill text and status of the bill can be found by clicking here. This legislation has gained significant momentum since the ruling of the federal appeals court decision in March 2007.

About the Photo in This Issue...

The Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) is the "shorebird of the prairie". While most of its relatives are never found far from water, this species has made itself at home on the grasslands. Of the 47 species of shorebirds known to nest in North America, only the Killdeer, Mountain Plover and Long billed Curlew have a similar strategy of nesting and feeding in upland prairie habitat.

Formerly, the summer range of the Upland Sandpiper extended from Maine to Kansas and then northwest to Alaska. Recently it has suffered declines in the eastern part of its range but it is holding steady in the Great Plains. This species winters in the pampas (prairie) of Argentina.

Fragmentation of habitat is probably responsible for the decline of the species. The Upland Sandpiper prefers grasslands of 40 acres or more and these have been disappearing rapidly in the northeastern U.S. due to old fields changing back to forest and suburbanization of the countryside.

Cool Facts:

  • The Upland Sandpiper begins southward migration unusually early, beginning in mid-July. It spends up to eight months of the year in its winter home in South America, during the austral summer.

  • In several northeastern states, the majority of nesting Upland Sandpipers live on the grounds of airports.

  • Upland Sandpiper pairs scrape out multiple depressions in the ground, but use only one for their actual nest.

I photographed this Upland Sandpiper in northeastern Colorado in May 2007.

Contact Us

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