May 17 , 2007
Volume IV, No. 33
Illinois Legislature Approves Horse Slaughter Ban
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois Senate approved a ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption Wednesday, sending the legislation to the governor.
The proposal, which won the Senate's OK 39-16, would stop a DeKalb plant from continuing to ship horse meat overseas. Human consumption is banned in the U.S.
"Horses clearly are recreational, companion animals," said Sen. John Cullerton, D-Chicago, the bill's sponsor. "They are not livestock, raised for food."
Gov. Rod Blagojevich agrees with the idea and likely will sign the bill into law, but must review it first, a spokeswoman said.
But senators representing farmers -- and the Cavel International plant in DeKalb -- say slaughtering horses is humane and necessary and the legislation will eliminate jobs in Illinois.
He said owners care about their horses but "they have to find a way to dispose of these animals."
Cullerton countered that Cavel can remain operating if it slaughters horses for other uses.
Cavel and the nation's two other slaughterhouses had ceased operations after a federal court said plant inspections were being improperly funded by the Agriculture Department.
The department had been offering horse slaughter plant inspections for a fee after federal lawmakers stripped money for horse inspectors' salaries and expenses from the 2006 agriculture spending bill in an effort to end horse slaughter.
But Cavel resumed operations after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided May 1 to grant the slaughterhouse's emergency request for a stay as it considers an appeal of the ruling to end the fee-for-service inspections.
The appeals court's decision noted that Cavel had argued "that it will go out of business absent a stay" because it would not be able to operate while the appeal is pending.
Contributions Continue Toward Memorial Scholarship Funds
The family of Dr. John T. Creasey this week made a generous contribution to the Illinois Veterinary Medical Foundation to assist in building a permanent endowment for the scholarship established in his name.
Dr. Creasey passed away suddenly in his home on Sunday, January 28, 2007. He was an associate at Spoon River Animal Clinic in Canton, IL.
The Mississippi Valley Veterinary Medical Association (MVVMA) also made a generous contribution to support the Dr. John T. Creasey Memorial/ISVMA Scholarship Fund and the Dr. Clint L. Franks Memorial/ISVMA Scholarship Fund. Dr. Franks was a fourth year student at the College of Veterinary Medicine where he suddenly passed away on December 17, 2006.
Both of these outstanding young men were from the MVVMA region.
Double Your Contributions to the IVMF
The ISVMA Board of Directors approved a matching program for all contributions made to the IVMF through June 30, 2007. ISVMA will match each contribution dollar-for-dollar (up to $10,000).
The IVMF hopes to permanently endow four student scholarships (one for each of the four ISVMA class representatives). Two of these scholarships are named for Dr. Creasey and Dr. Franks.
When you renew your dues this year, please consider a contribution to the scholarship funds. Your dues renewal packets will be mailed this weekend and a pledge card for the IVMF is included. It takes $25,000 to endow an annual scholarship of $1000. Therefore, we are hoping to raise $100,000 for the four scholarships and your generous contributions will make this possible! If each ISVMA member contributes $48.50 we would accomplish our goal!
You may also contribute to the IVMF with your VISA or MasterCard using the online pledge form on the ISVMA website.
About the Photo in This Issue...
A beautiful blue bird with silvery bill and chestnut wingbars, the Blue Grosbeak (Passerina caerulea) is an uncommon bird of shrubby habitats across the southern United States.
This species was formerly was placed in its own genus, Guiraca. Similarities with buntings in genetics, behavior, molts, and plumages led to its inclusion in the bunting genus Passerina. Genetic evidence indicates that the Lazuli Bunting is its closest relative.
Blue Grosbeaks breed from California, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, and New Jersey southward and spend winters in the tropics. Their preferred habitats include brushy, moist pastures, and roadside thickets. The males have a bright purple-blue body, black face, and two wide, brown wingbars. Females and juveniles are brown with occasional blue feathers on their upperparts.
I photographed this Blue Grosbeak on Dauphin Island, Alabama in April 2007.
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