ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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July 19 , 2007


Volume V, No. 2



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Northern Hawk-Owl
Northern Hawk-Owl

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

In this Issue

Reporting Dog Fighting

Illinois Veterinarians Highlighted

Did You Know?

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




Veterinarian's Responsibility to Report Dog Fighting

The recent indictment of NFL star quarterback Michael Vick on charges related to dog fighting has resulted in a tremendous amount of press and some inquiries from ISVMA members regarding their responsibility to report injuries suspected to have resulted from dog fighting.


The Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act requires:

"Any veterinarian in this State who is presented with a dog for treatment of injuries or wounds resulting from fighting where there is a reasonable possibility that the dog was engaged in or utilized for a fighting event for the purposes of sport, wagering, or entertainment shall file a report with the Department of Agriculture and cooperate by furnishing the owners' names, dates, and descriptions of the dog or dogs involved. Any veterinarian who in good faith complies with the requirements of this subsection has immunity from any liability, civil, criminal, or otherwise, that may result from his or her actions. For the purposes of any proceedings, civil or criminal, the good faith of the veterinarian shall be rebuttably presumed."

Key to this requirement is the immunity provided veterinarians who make a report in good faith.


A copy of the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act can be found in the ISVMA Member Center (along with other statutes related to animal and public health and veterinary medicine) at

Illinois Veterinarians Highlighted at AVMA Conference

Illinois veterinarians were the recipients of many honors and distinctions at the recently concluded AVMA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

ISVMA would like to congratulate the following:


Dr. Bruce Little and Dr. Janis Audin each received a President's Award. Read more...


Dr. Roger Mahr concluded his outstanding term as AVMA President. He dedicated his AVMA presidency to championing the concept of "One Health, One Profession" within the veterinary profession. His efforts resulted in the formation of a 12-member One Health Initiative Task Force. The task force was charged with articulating a vision of one health that will enhance the integration of animal, human, and environmental health for the mutual benefit of all.

Dr. William McEniry received the 2007 AVMA Award, which recognizes distinguished contributions to the advancement of veterinary medical organizations. Read more...

Dr. Shelly Rubin was named President of the American Heartworm Society. Read more...

Dr. Elysia Shaefer was elected to the Council on Veterinary Services.

Dean Herbert Whiteley was elected to the Council on Education.


ISVMA members were also well represented in the AVMA House of Delegates. The Illinois representatives on the floor included:


Dr. George Richards (Illinois Delegate)

Dr. Shelly Rubin (Alternate Illinois Delegate)

Dr. Stephen Dullard (Alternate Delegate - American Association of Feline Practitioners)

Dr. William Hollis (Alternate Delegate - American Association of Swine Practitioners)

Ms. Emily Eaton (SAVMA President-Elect)

Did You Know?

If you clicked on the above link to the list of statutes that define the practice of veterinary medicine in Illinois, you will have a deeper understanding of why 2100 Illinois veterinarians count on ISVMA to represent them in Springfield!

Veterinary medicine is a relatively young profession - the first Illinois Veterinary Practice Act was passed in 1899. In the absence of this important enabling legislation, the practice of veterinary medicine would not be limited to licensed professionals.

Many other state laws (and corresponding rules and regulations) prescribe and limit veterinary practice in the State. As a result of these statutes and rules, veterinarians diagnose and control animal diseases, treat sick and injured animals, prevent the transmission of animal diseases ("zoonoses") to people, and advise owners on proper care of pets and livestock. They ensure a safe food supply by maintaining the health of food animals. Veterinarians are also involved in wildlife preservation and conservation and public health of the human population.

ISVMA is strategically located in the Capitol City in order that we have a strong and enduring voice on issues related to the veterinary profession and the health and welfare of animals and the public. ISVMA staff and lobbyists work every day on issues that affect your practice and represent the profession before the Illinois General Assembly and regulatory agencies.


If you know a colleague who is not a member of the ISVMA, make sure to remind them of their responsibility to the profession and of the importance of their state association! Encourage them to visit to join today!

About the Photo in This Issue...

The Northern Hawk-Owl (Sunia ulula) is so named because of similarities in both behavior and appearance with typical hawks. The owl is of medium size, about 13 inches long (33 cm) with a wing spread of 30 inches (76 cm). It has a small facial disk which is abbreviated in the brow region over the bright yellow eyes. The wings are large and, unlike those of most owls, pointed at the ends. The tail is very long for an owl and tapers at the end. The underside is marked with fine black transverse bars on white. When the bird flies, the pointed wings, long tail, and swift flight appear hawk-like.

It is the only living species in the genus Surnia. The species is sometimes called simply the Hawk Owl; however, many species of owls in the Ninox genus are also called hawk owls.

This bird species has a circumpolar distribution from Norway, across the Soviet Union, through Alaska, and into eastern Canada. The owl is local and does not regularly migrate; however, it is subject to food related movements which can cause it to be found outside its normal range.

The northern hawk owl is usually found perched on the top of a low tree or shrub from which it can scan open areas for its prey. The hawk owl hunts mainly during daylight, but in winter it also hunts at night. Although its hearing is not so well-developed as other night-hunting owls, it can still plunge into snow to capture rodents below the surface. It hunts primarily voles and other birds. It often takes advantage of its rapid flight to overtake prey.

The owl occurs in the coniferous and deciduous forests where there are openings or where the trees are widely spaced. It can also be found in open tundra areas where there are tree-lined watercourses. It avoids dense coniferous forest, but habitat requirements are mostly influenced by its prey populations. Open areas are required for hunting, and trees are needed for nesting or roosting. The number of owls is limited by nest site availability and the density of small rodents.

I photographed this Northern Hawk-Owl in Aitken County, Minnesota in February 2005.

Contact Us

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

Phone: (217) 523-8387

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