ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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October 1 , 2008


Volume VI, No. 11



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Eared Grebe
Eared Grebe

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

In this Issue

Early Bird Convention Registration Deadline Five Days Away

Plenty of Wet Lab Openings Available

Dr. Gail Golab Earns Rare Credential

Rabid Bats

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us





The deadline for taking advantage of the Early-Bird registration discounts is October 6, 2008. A full schedule and program description are available in the Convention Prospectus.


Additional information (including hotel information) is also available on the ISVMA website. Remember to ask for the ISVMA room block discount when making your reservations!


Review the convention program with your staff and remember to register soon! The ISVMA has a convenient online registration form designed to make your registration quick and simple!

Plenty of Wet Lab Openings Remain

If you are interested in attending one of the wet labs at the 2008 ISVMA Annual Convention, there is still time to grab one of the open slots. Register today to make sure you get in.

Dr. Gail Golab, Head of AVMA Animal Welfare Division, Becomes First U.S. Veterinarian Credentialed in Animal Welfare

(Schaumburg, Ill.) October 1, 2008—Dr. Gail Golab, head of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Animal Welfare Division and ISVMA member, traveled across the globe to achieve a top career goal—to become America’s first veterinarian credentialed in animal welfare.


Dr. Golab earned her membership level credential in the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists’ (ACVSc) Animal Welfare Chapter on July 3, 2008. Australia is the only country that offers an animal welfare certification for veterinarians.


“We've long recognized and valued Dr. Golab's expertise and national recognition in animal welfare,” says Dr. Ron DeHaven, chief executive officer of the AVMA. “This new certification from Australia adds international recognition and reflects positively on her as well as the overall level of expertise of the AVMA staff. We are very fortunate to have Gail, as well as other very talented and dedicated staff members at the AVMA.”


Dr. Golab is the only American member of the ACVSc, as well as being the only American veterinarian within its Animal Welfare Chapter. Earning membership in the ACVSc Animal Welfare Chapter involved more than two years of study and successful completion of written and oral exams. The written exam was conducted in the United States and the oral exam in Queensland, Australia.


“I’d considered attempting to obtain this credential for some time and finally decided it was time to pursue it. Certainly there was hard work involved, but I’ve benefitted immensely from the experience,” says Dr. Golab.


"My work at the AVMA was a real asset to my studies, because as head of the Animal Welfare Division I’m constantly exposed to and researching animal care practices affecting a variety of species across a range of uses,” Dr. Golab adds. “I look forward to using the additional knowledge I have gained through this formal credentialing process to assist the AVMA in continuing to formulate rational and effective approaches to these complex issues.”


Dr. Golab said her studies have not only broadened her understanding of the scientific and ethical theory associated with animal welfare decisions, but have also created strong links with colleagues in the international veterinary and animal welfare communities. In her studies, she was mentored by one of Australia’s top veterinarians, and studied with veterinarians from Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.


“The importance of animal welfare is becoming increasingly recognized around the world and the recent award of ACVSc membership to Dr. Gail Golab of the AVMA, as the first U.S. member, is fitting recognition of Dr. Golab's international standing. It is also most pleasing to see the leadership position being taken by the AVMA on this complex international public policy issue,” says Dr. David Bayvel, director of animal welfare for MAF Biosecurity NZ and chair of the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health) Animal Welfare Working Group. “The Australian College of Veterinary Scientists’ Animal Welfare Chapter provides an opportunity to gain international peer recognition, by examination, for particular experience and expertise on the field of animal welfare.”


Dr. Golab has a long history of commitment to ensuring the welfare of animals. As an undergraduate student engaged in biomedical research she served on a predecessor to today’s institutional animal care and use committees that protect the welfare of laboratory animals. As a graduate student at Texas A&M University, she co-founded a student chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals as a means of providing education directed at reducing end-of-semester relinquishments of students’ pets. After graduation from University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 1991, she provided medical and surgical services, and assisted with policy development, for local humane societies. Currently she serves on several scientific advisory committees developing guidelines and standards for the care of animals used for agricultural purposes.


“It was great to have someone like Gail with a lot of ‘field experience’ in animal welfare sitting for the exams,” explains Dr. Mark Lawrie, president of the Australian Veterinary Association and Dr. Golab’s mentor. “At the time of the exams, Dr. Golab said she felt that what she had learnt through the membership was adding value to her work.


“It helps to gain understanding of the animal welfare issues that we have today and how they play out as they do,” he says.


For more information, visit

Rabid Bat Found in Will County Home - 89th in State So Far This Year

by Joel Hood, Chicago Tribune


September 30, 2008 - Health officials are looking into whether a person was exposed to a rabid bat found alive inside a home in Manhattan. It was Will County's eighth confirmed case of wildlife rabies in 2008.


The bat was discovered inside a bedroom in a home on Pauling Road on Sunday. It marks the first confirmed case since Aug. 20 when a rabid bat was taken in Frankfort. Earlier cases were found in Naperville, Joliet, Shorewood, New Lenox and Peotone.


There have been 89 bat rabies cases in Illinois this year, including 17 from Cook County and 19 from McHenry County. A state record of 113 bat rabies cases was reported in 2007.


Rabies is a fatal viral disease transmitted to humans through the saliva of infected animals. Residents are urged to avoid contact with all wild animals and unfamiliar pets.


Any bats found in or near residences should be reported to your County Animal Control.

About the Photo

The Eared Grebe is the most abundant grebe in the world. It breeds in shallow wetlands in western North America and occurs in greatest numbers on Mono Lake and the Great Salt Lake in fall, where it prepares for a nonstop flight to its wintering grounds in the southwestern United States and Mexico.


At its fall staging areas, the Eared Grebe more than doubles its weight. The pectoral muscles shrink to the point of flightlessness, the digestive organs grow significantly, and great fat deposits accumulate. Then before departure for migration, the digestive organs shrink back to about one-fourth their peak size and the heart and pectoral muscles grow quickly.


A cycle similar to that of the fall staging areas occurs three to six times each year for the Eared Grebe. For perhaps nine to ten months each year the species is flightless; this is the longest flightless period of any bird in the world capable of flight at all.


The Eared Grebe migrates only at night. Because of the length of its fall staging, its southward fall migration is the latest of any bird species in North America.


On cold, sunny mornings, the Eared Grebe, like some other grebe species, sunbathes by facing away from the sun and raising its rump, exposing dark underlying skin to light. This behavior may make the bird appear to have a distinctive "high-stern" profile.


Although the species is abundant, frequent mass deaths at the Salton Sea in California, a major staging and wintering area for the species, pose concern. As the Sea dies, there are many species of birds, reptiles, mammals, insects and other living creatures that will be adversely impacted.


I photographed this Eared Grebe at Montrose Harbor in Chicago in 1996.

Contact Us

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