IMPORTANT NOTICE: FAA Audits Continue - Requirements for Shipping Diagnostic Specimens
Required Training for Packaging and Shipping Lab Specimens
The ISVMA was recently informed of some audit activity in Illinois veterinary practices. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) conducted the audits to examine compliance with requirements for packaging and shipping infectious substances.
Because this was a federal compliance issue, ISVMA contacted the AVMA and AVMA-PLIT. The AVMA has developed a comprehensive summary of the requirements and availability of training courses required for compliance.
According to the AVMA, "Incorrect packaging of infectious substances can quickly land a veterinary practice in hot water. Veterinary practices send specimens to diagnostic labs on a daily basis, and it is vital to ensure that the staff (including veterinarians) who package the items have had the required documented training and that each shipment meets current packaging standards. Any items found to fall below these standards may result in the shipper being visited by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Fines associated with noncompliance of packaging or training can be substantial."
ISVMA Practice Act Legislation (Update)
The two identical bills that the ISVMA introduced to amend the Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act of 2004 passed the legislative chamber in which they were introduced. All bills must pass both the House of Representatives and Senate before they can be considered for final approval by the Governor.
House Bill B5377 passed in the Illinois House of Representatives and is now under consideration in the Illinois State Senate. Senate Bill 3712 passed the Illinois State Senate and is now under consideration in the Illinois House of Representatives.
ISVMA will keep members updated on these important bills and will send alerts if member action is needed to contact legislators. These bills will both be voted upon in committee in the next few days.
Northern Illinois VMA Meeting on April 28
The NIVMA 2010 Spring Meeting will be held on April 28, 2010 at the Tebala Shrine Center in Rockford, IL. There are separate programs for DVM and CVT/staff registrants. The meeting provides six hours of continuing education credit. A copy of the meeting brochure and online registration are now available.
Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program to Launch Soon
(AVMA-WASHINGTON) April 20, 2010—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) today applauded the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for publishing the final rule for the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP).
The rule, published Monday in the Federal Register, outlines criteria for both the shortage situation designations and applicant eligibility for the loan repayment program. The program was authorized by the National Veterinary Medical Service Act (NVMSA) to bring student debt relief to veterinarians that agree to serve in areas that may impact animal or public health.
The publication of final rules means that the program, first approved in 2003, can soon begin accepting applicants. NIFA expects to make applications available to interested veterinarians at the end of this month.
Awards should be made by the end of this fiscal year, September 30, 2010.
AVMA leaders, who have spent the better part of the last decade championing the program and funding for it, were ecstatic that debt relief will soon be made available for veterinarians working in underserved areas.
“This is the culmination of years of effort by America’s veterinarians and by the USDA to help get this program launched,” said Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the AVMA. “The AVMA is committed to continue working with NIFA to ensure the program is successfully implemented, and we will continue to advocate with Congress for annual funding for the program and to make the program tax exempt.”
The AVMA anticipates that a large number of veterinarians are interested in applying for the program, and it will continue to advocate for increased funding for VMLRP.
The complete rule is available on the U.S. Government Printing Office website, www.gpoaccess.gov.
Purina Recalls Horse, Poultry Feed
Company Says Metal Fragments Found In Bags
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A recall was announced Friday of some horse and poultry feed that's manufactured in Nashville.
Purina Mills LLC said metal fragments have been discovered in some of the bags. It's recalling 50 pound bags of Strategy Professional Formula GX Horse Feed and Layena Sunfresh Recipe Pellet Poultry Feed. (complete story)
Response Products Announces Recall of Cetyl M for Dogs
Response Products is announcing a voluntary recall of Cetyl M for Dogs with lot numbers 0128010 and 1210903 over a concern that the dietary supplement is potentially contaminated with salmonella. No illnesses have been reported, according to the Broken Bow, Nebraska-based company.
AVMA Creates New Web-based Externship Locator
to Help Veterinary Students Research Educational Opportunities
(SCHAUMBURG, Ill.) April 20, 2010— The nation’s first, centralized Veterinary Externship Locator was announced by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The AVMA created the new computer program in an effort to help veterinary students find externship opportunities.
Most veterinary students take an externship—a short, off-site work/educational program—during veterinary school to augment their studies. In fact, they’ve become such an essential component of veterinary education that many veterinary schools require all students take at least one to graduate.
“Externships are important, real-world learning opportunities for veterinary students,” explains Dr. Larry R. Corry, AVMA president. “Anything we can do to assist our students to find externships that interest and challenge them will help them develop into better veterinarians, which is a service to our members, veterinary medicine and also to the community.”
While externships have grown drastically more popular over the past decade, students report they can be hard to find.
“The Veterinary Externship Locator is a great example of the AVMA being responsive to the needs or our members,” explains Dr. Kevin Dajka, director of the AVMA Membership and Field Services Division, which created and oversees the new Veterinary Externship Locator. “Externships are increasingly popular among our student members because they help them learn to apply what they’ve learned in veterinary school, make friends and mentors, and also they help them develop career goals.”
The service currently lists hundreds of externships from across the country, including descriptions of the opportunities and contact information. These resources can be sorted and accessed by state, school, special interest or organization. The new AVMA system also links to existing state and veterinary school externship databases, and in states where state veterinary medical associations don’t offer any externship assistance, the AVMA Student Externship Locator offers a “Find a Vet” tool to help students with the research to find an externship on their own.
For more information about the AVMA Veterinary Career Center and the new Student Externship Locator, please visit www.avma.org/vcc. For any other information about veterinary medicine, please visit www.avma.org.
AVMA Auxiliary Promotes Exercise for National Pet Week
The Auxiliary to the AVMA is celebrating “Pets and People – Healthy Together” during National Pet Week 2010, May 2 – 8.
The Auxiliary chose this year’s theme to promote the importance of exercise for people and pets, said Ginger Morton, the Auxiliary’s vice president for public relations.
The purpose of National Pet Week is to foster responsible pet ownership, recognize the human-animal bond, and increase public awareness of veterinary medicine. The AVMA and Auxiliary founded the event in 1981, and the celebration has spread throughout the United States. The AVMA continues to support the event.
In advance of National Pet Week 2010, the Auxiliary held its annual poster and creative writing contests. Morton said the Auxiliary received hundreds of entries from across the country.
Lydia Edlin of Athens, Texas won the grand prize of $300 in the poster contest. Her poster, which she submitted in early 2009 when she was in fourth grade, appears on the cover of this issue.
Sara Craven of Whitefish, Mont., won the $300 grand prize in the writing contest. She submitted her winning poem, “Pets & People”, early last year as a fourth-grader.
Pets & People
It seems like forever,
That people and pets have lived healthily together,
You and your pet can go on evening walks,
It’s even helpful to give it long talks.
Living alone is no fun,
So get a pet to play in the sun.
Feed your pet to keep it strong,
And if you don’t it’s just plain wrong.
Take your pet for a swim in the lake,
Or let it mend your heartache.
So go get a pet today,
You have nothing to lose anyway.
Along with the poster and creative writing contest, the Auxiliary promotes National Pet Week with items ranging from bookmarks to banners. An order form plus entry forms for the 2011 contest are available on the Auxiliary Website at www.avmaaux.org under “National Pet Week.”
“Save a Life – Adopt a Pet” is the theme for National Pet Week 2011. March 15 is the deadline for the 2011 poster and creative writing contest.
About the Photo
The Cape May Warbler (Dendroica tigrina) breeds in spruce forests across all but the western-most parts of southern Canada, into the Great Lakes region and New England. Their favorite summer food item is spruce budworms. They spend their winter on Caribbean islands and in southern Florida, where much of their diet may shift to nectar, sap, and juices obtained from puncturing fruit. The Cape May Warbler is the only warbler with a tubular tongue adapted to feeding on nectar from flowers.
This species migrates through Illinois and, during migration, they prefer conifers but can be found in deciduous trees and brushy thickets as well. They are often found in palm trees during their winter months in the Caribbean and Florida.
The summer male Cape May Warbler has a brown back, yellowish rump and dark brown crown. The underparts are yellow, streaked black, giving rise to the bird's scientific name. The throat and nape are bright yellow and the face is chestnut with a black eye stripe. There is a narrow white wing bar.
Other plumages resemble washed-out versions of the summer male, and, in particular, lack the strong head pattern. The yellowish rump and, at least indications of the white wing bar, are always present.
I photographed this breeding male Cape May Warbler in Chicago, IL.
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