ISVMA Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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March 12 , 2009

 

Volume VI, No. 25

 

E-Source

An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Greater Prairie-Chicken

Greater Prairie-Chicken

Greater Prairie-Chickens
© Peter S. Weber
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In this Issue

Legislative Update

How a Bill Becomes a Law

ISCAVMA Annual Symposium Auction

Register Now for the ISVMA Spring Seminar Series

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us

peter@isvma.org

 

 

 

Legislative Update - Bill Status As First Deadline Looms

This week is an important deadline week in the Illinois General Assembly. All bills must pass a committee in the house of origin (House bills must pass a House committee and Senate bills must pass a Senate committee) or the bills are dead. Every one of the bills that the ISVMA has been working on has already received a hearing in committee and the following is a status update on the key bills:

 

* denotes the bill is an initiative of the ISVMA

House Bill 198 - Dog Breeder License Act

On March 11, 2009 this bill quite surprisingly was called for a committee vote and passed out of the House Business and Occupational Licenses Committee without amendment. The bill is still in its original form and the Senate companion bill, which had been amended three times, was "shelled" in a Senate committee at the same time House Bill 198 was being heard in the House committee.

 

It is unlikely that House Bill 198 will be called for a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives without having to be referred back committee for the purpose of filing an amendment and the most likely amendment would be one to "shell" the bill in the same manner as the Senate Bill 53.

House Bill 364 - Veterinary Student Loan Repayment Program Act*

On March 4, 2009 this ISVMA initiative passed the Illinois House of Representatives on a vote of 109-0-0. It must now be considered by the Illinois State Senate before being sent to the Governor for final action. Representative David Reis was the House sponsor and Senator Michael Frerichs has agreed to be the Senate sponsor.

House Bill 583 - Repeals Prohibition on Horse Slaughter

On February 24, 2009 a motion to pass House Bill 583 was approved by the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee on a vote of 11-2-0 and the bill was placed on the Order of Second Reading in the House of Representatives.

 

On March 10, 2009 an amendment to the bill was adopted in the House 111-1-0 to add a provision to the bill creating an Equine Rescue Assistance Fund.

 

The bill is currently on the Order of Second Reading - Short Debate in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 678 - Equine Transportation

On March 4, 2009 a motion to pass House Bill 678 was approved by the House Vehicles and Safety Committee. The bill is currently on the Order of Second Reading - Short Debate in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 2331 - Practice Pending Permits*

On March 10, 2009 a motion to pass House Bill 2331 (as amended) was approved by the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee on a vote of 12-0-0.

 

This bill is an ISVMA initiative designed to allow recent graduates of accredited veterinary colleges, made application for licensure and either passed their NAVLE or are awaiting their NAVLE results to practice under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian until they receive notice of failing their NAVLE test, withdraw their application or obtain their license.

 

House Bill 2331 is currently on the Order of Second Reading - Short Debate in the House of Representatives.

House Bill 2407 - Internet Prescribing Prohibition Act

On March 5, 2009 this bill was tabled by the sponsor.

House Bill 3887 - Euthanasia Technicians*

On March 11, 2009 a motion to pass House Bill 3887 was approved by the House Judiciary I - Civil Law Committee on a vote of 13-0-0. The bill was placed on the Order of Second Reading - Short Debate in the House of Representatives.

 

This is another ISVMA initiative. The bill specifies that euthanasia by certified euthanasia technicians shall be conducted only "within the physical premises of" (rather than "in") an animal shelter licensed under the Animal Welfare Act or an animal control facility licensed under the Animal Welfare Act.

House Bill 3888 - Pet Lemon Law*

On March 10, 2009 a motion to pass House Bill 3888 was approved by the House Consumer Protection Committee on a vote of 14-0-0 and was placed on the Order of Second Reading - Short Debate in the House of Representatives.

 

This is another ISVMA initiative which would establish a Pet Lemon Law for consumers who purchase puppies and kittens. It sets forth responsibilities for pet retailers and pet owners and establishes specific remedies for pet owners who purchase unhealthy animals under specified conditions.

Senate Bill 38 - Euthanasia Limitations

On February 25, 2009 a motion to pass Senate Bill 38 was approved by the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee on a vote of 6-4-0 and the bill is currently on Third Reading in the Senate.

 

ISVMA removed its opposition to Senate Bill 38 when the sponsor agreed to an amendment we proffered. By agreement with the sponsor, the bill will be further amended to delete a reference to the use of "liquids or substances that can be placed in a dog's food or mouth" for the purposes of euthanasia that was included by the Humane Society of the United States.

Senate Bill 53 - Dog Breeder License Act

On March 11, 2009 a motion to pass Senate Bill 53 was approved by the Senate Licensed Activities Committee on a vote of 6-3 with the condition that the bill would be "shelled" so that all interested parties could work together to develop agreed language that would address shared concerns associated with puppy mill operations.

 

A "shell" amendment strips a bill of all substantive language and makes a technical amendment to a statute (Public Act). The technical amendment (shell) could be replacing a single word (e.g. replace "the" with "a"). This type of amendment is common when trying to keep a controversial bill alive in the hope that an agreement can be reached at a later date. It allows the bill to continue meeting deadlines (as an empty shell) that would otherwise result in it being killed.

 

The ISVMA opposed Senate Bill 53 and House Bill 198 as they were submitted. However, we agreed in the Senate Licensed Activities Committee to the plan to shell the bill and keep it alive so that we can work with the bill sponsor to develop meaningful and effective language to crack down on puppy mill operators.

Senate Bill 139 - Tail Docking / Ear Cropping

On March 11, 2009 a technical amendment to (shell) Senate Bill 39 was approved by the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee and a motion to approve Senate Bill 139 as a shell bill was approved on a vote of 6-4-0 and the shell bill was placed on the Order of Second Reading in the Senate.

Senate Bill 1336 - Bovine Tail Docking

Senate Bill 1336 was assigned to the Subcommittee on Animal Welfare and will not be called for a vote in time to meet the Senate deadline for discharging bills from committee in the house of origin.

Senate Bill 1337 - Farm Animal Confinement

Senate Bill 1337 was assigned to the Subcommittee on Animal Welfare and will not be called for a vote in time to meet the Senate deadline for discharging bills from committee in the house of origin.

Senate Bill 1443 - Veterinary Teaching Hospital*

On March 5, 2009 a motion to pass Senate Bill 1443 was approved by the Senate Agriculture and Conservation Committee on a vote of 10-0-0 and was placed on the Order of Second Reading in the Senate.

 

This bill is an ISVMA initiative to clarify and align a series of exemptions related to licensure for the faculty and facilities at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.

The status of all bills being worked on by ISVMA is available for members to check at http://capwiz.com/isvma/issues/bills/. Members can link to each bill on this list and read a short description, read the entire bill text, and use the "Take Action Now" link to contact your legislators to communicate your thoughts and position on the bill.

How a Bill Becomes a Law in Illinois

We are often asked by members to describe how a bill becomes a law. It is a very convoluted process with many possible twists and turns. The Legislative Research Unit developed a flow chart that demonstrates how complicated the process can be.

 

In a nutshell, a bill has to pass both the House and Senate (in identical form) before it can be approved or vetoed by the Governor. There are several steps a bill must take in each chamber before it is approved.

ISCAVMA Holding Annual Symposium Auction

The 2009 SAVMA Symposium will be held March 26th-29th in Columbus Ohio at The Ohio State University. This year, 70 students will use the last 4 days of their spring break to further their veterinary education and represent Illinois in a variety of academic and sporting events.

 

ISCAVMA relies heavily on the funding raised through their symposium auction to help defray travel and lodging costs. This year’s auction will run from March 9th-13th and can be accessed via the ISCAVMA website. Item bids will be updated daily and people can bid on any item listed; bids can be submitted to a iscavma@gmail.com. Detailed directions will also be posted on the website.

 

ISCAVMA appreciates your continued support and looks forward to representing Illinois at the 2009 SAVMA Symposium.

Register Now for the ISVMA Spring Seminar Series

ISVMA is excited to announce the 2009 Spring Seminar Series! This is the first license renewal cycle in which veterinarians must obtain 40 hours of CE and veterinary technicians must obtain 15 hours. Therefore, we have expanded our program and we are offering concurrent sessions for veterinary practice owners/managers and veterinary technicians/assistants.

 

Full program information (including course descriptions, speaker bios, directions and schedule) is available on the ISVMA website.

 

Registration is open and limited for each venue. Please register early!

 

The practice owner/manager program is called, "Hard Times Management: Improving Your Hospital in a Recessionary Time." The presenters include Christine A. Merle, DVM, CPA, CVPM; Judy Jennings, MBA; and Fran Hoyt, CPA from Maloney & Company.

 

The veterinary technician/assistant program will be presented by Mr. Angel Rivera CVT, VTS (ECC). He will speak on a number of topics including: Veterinary Nursing: Ethics and Professionalism; 20 essential tools of monitoring, diagnostics and assessments to use in the critically ill ICU patient; Basic Patient Parameter Assessment (Triage); and How to become an indispensable part of a winning team and increase practice profitability through the appropriate use of staff.

 

The 2009 ISVMA Spring Seminars will be offered at three locations:

· March 14 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Springfield, IL

 

· March 21 at the Stonegate in Hoffman Estates, IL *no technician program at this location

 

· March 22 at the Holiday Inn in Willowbrook, IL

 

Seminar Schedule:

 

8:30 a.m. Registration opens
9:00 a.m. Sessions begin
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch break
1:00 p.m. Sessions resume
3:30 p.m. Sessions end

 

The ISVMA wishes to thank the sponsors of the 2009 ISVMA Spring Seminar Series:

 

matsco
pfizer

 

About the Photo

The Greater Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido) is a large bird in the grouse family. Once abundant, this North American species has become extremely rare or extinct over much of its range due to habitat loss. There are current efforts to help this species survive and one of the projects is at a Prairie Ridge State Natural Area in Newton, IL. One of the most famous aspects of these creatures is the mating ritual called booming.

 

Greater Prairie-Chickens are territorial birds and often defend their booming grounds. These booming grounds are the area in which they perform their displays in hopes of attracting females (see picture 1 above where a female watches a male perform). Their displays consist of the male inflating air sacs located on the side of his neck and snapping his tail (see picture 2 above). The booming grounds usually have very short or no vegetation. The male prairie chickens stay on this ground displaying for almost two months. The breeding season usually begins in the United States starting in Late March throughout April. The one or two most dominant males will do about 90% of the mating.

 

After mating has taken place, the females will move about one mile from the booming grounds and begin to build their nests. Hens lay between 5 and 17 eggs per clutch and the eggs take between 23 and 24 days to hatch. There are between five and 10 young per brood. (INRIN, 2005). The young are raised by the female and fledge in one to four weeks, are completely independent by the tenth to twelfth week, and reach sexual maturity by age one (Ammann, 1957).

 

Greater Prairie Chickens prefer undisturbed prairie and were originally found in tall grass prairies. They can tolerate agricultural land mixed with prairie, but the more agricultural land the less prairie chicken. Their diet consists primarily of seeds and fruit but during the summer they also eat insects and green plants. These birds were once widespread all across the oak savanna and tall grass prairie ecosystem. The prairie chicken was almost extinct in the 1930s due to hunting pressure and habitat loss. They now only live on small parcels of managed prairie land. It is thought that their current population is about 459,000 individuals. In May 2000, the Canadian Species at Risk Act listed the Greater Prairie-Chicken as extirpated in its Canadian range (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario).

 

The Prairie chickens are not threatened by severe winter weather. When the snow is thick they "dive" in to the snow to keep warm. A greater threat to the prairie chickens comes in the spring rains. These sometimes drenching rains can wreak havoc on their chicks. Another major natural threat is drought. A drought can destroy food and make it difficult for the chicks.

 

Human interactions are by far the greatest threat to this species. The conversion of native prairie to cropland is very detrimental to these birds. It was found in a radio telemetry study conducted by Kansas State University that "most prairie chicken hens avoided nesting or rearing their broods within a quarter-mile of power lines and within a third-mile of improved roads." (Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks) It was also found that the chickens avoided communication towers and rural farms.

 

In response to the drastic decline of the prairie-chickens due to the loss of grasslands, the Prairie-Chicken Foundation of Illinois was organized in 1959 with the single purpose of preserving the prairie-chicken in Illinois. In 1961 the first sanctuary of 77 acres was acquired in Jasper County. Between 1961 and 2003 in Jasper County, 12 tracts totaling 2346 acres were developed as grasslands in Jasper County, mostly by private groups and individuals working in cooperation with the Prairie-Chicken Foundation of Illinois, The Illinois Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, the Illinois Natural History Survey, the IDNR and AmerenCIPS. In Marion County, seven tracts totaling 1207.5 acres were purchased between 1967 and 2001 for prairie-chicken management. These grasslands currently support the last remaining Illinois prairie-chicken populations.

 

In addition to habitat loss, another problem facing prairie chickens is the Ring-necked Pheasant. Pheasants are a non-native, parasitic species that will lay their eggs in prairie chicken nests. The pheasant eggs hatch first; this causes the prairie chickens to leave the nest thinking that the young have hatched. In reality the eggs did not hatch and the young often die because the mother is not there to incubate the eggs.

 

Adults of both sexes are 14 inches long, medium sized, stocky, and round-winged. Their tails are short, round, and dark. Adult males have a yellow-orange comb over their eyes. Males also have dark, elongated head feathers that can be raised or lain along neck. A circular, orange unfeathered neck patch can be inflated while displaying. Adult females have shorter head feathers and lack the male's yellow comb and orange neck patch.

 

I photographed these Greater Prairie-Chickens on my 40th birthday (April 7, 2004) while sitting in a blind at Prairie Ridge State Natural Area. I couldn't think of a more enjoyable way to spend that milestone birthday!

Contact Us

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Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
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