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October 16 , 2009


Volume VII, No. 8



An electronic newsletter highlighting veterinary issues for Illinois veterinarians

Rough-legged Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
© Peter S. Weber
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In this Issue

ISVMA Early Bird Convention Registration Deadline

Livestock Housing

ISVMA Seeking Key Contacts for Legislators

$2 Million in Student Scholarships

Call for AVMA Committee Nominations

ISVMA Policy on AVMA Candidate Endorsements

About the Photo

Contact Us

Contact Us




ISVMA Early Bird Convention Registration Deadline

The Early Bird Registration deadline for the ISVMA Annual Convention is October 16, 2009. All registrations must be faxed, submitted online or postmarked prior to the deadline date.


The 127th ISVMA Annual Convention will be held at the Peoria Civic Center on November 13-15, 2009. A copy of the full program brochure is also available online. There is also a convenient online registration option.

Livestock Housing

from AVMA State Legislative Update (10/15/2009)


The battle over livestock housing is being waged in the Midwest this year, in the aftermath of California Proposition 2 which passed in 2008. Ohio and Michigan are poised to take very different approaches on how animal care standards will be decided.


Expecting a ballot issue similar to those approved by voters in California, Arizona and Florida, the Ohio Farm Bureau and other agribusiness leaders approached state lawmakers earlier this year. Both the state House and Senate approved legislation to put an issue on the fall ballot. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) opposes the farm bureau bill—called Issue 2—and is still expected to pursue its own ballot initiative in 2010 to ban confinement of farm animals in a manner that does not allow them to turn around freely, lie down, stand up and fully extend their limbs.


Ohio voters will have the opportunity this November to pass Issue 2, which would set up the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board. This entity would have the authority to establish standards governing the care and well-being of livestock and poultry in this state, and consider factors such as agricultural best management practices, biosecurity, disease prevention, animal morbidity and mortality data, food safety practices, and the protection of local, affordable food supplies for consumers. The governor and legislature would appoint members, which would include a veterinarian, the State Veterinarian, family farmers, a food-safety expert, a representative of a local humane society, members of statewide farm organizations, the dean of an Ohio agriculture college, and two consumers.


In Michigan, the Governor signed a bill requiring that any pig during pregnancy, calf raised for veal, and egg-laying hen that is kept on a farm, must be housed so the animal can lie down, stand up and turn around freely. Exemptions include research, veterinary treatment, transportation, rodeos and state fairs, during slaughter and, in the case of pregnant sows, housing seven days before expected birth. Producers and farmers will have three years to comply with the veal calf restrictions and 10 years to comply with the rules for pregnant sows and egg-laying hens. The legislation is the result of extensive negotiations between the agriculture industry and HSUS, avoiding a ballot initiative that would have resulted in stronger penalties and a shorter time-frame for compliance.

ISVMA Seeking Key Contacts for Legislators

ISVMA would like to know if you have a relationship with an elected official in Illinois State Government or the Illinois Congressional Delegation. If you know a legislator (client, family, friend, neighbor) please let us know by filling out the legislative relationship survey at


Your feedback allows us to organize effective contacts with legislators who have significant influence on laws, rules and regulations affecting the veterinary profession. Occasionally, ISVMA calls upon individual members who have relationships with specific legislators to assist in communicating our position on key issues.


Privacy policy: This information will be used solely by the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association; your personal information will not be shared with anyone else.

American Veterinary Medical Foundation And Pfizer Animal Health Team Up To Award Up To $2 Million In Scholarships To Veterinary Students Through 2012

(SCHAUMBURG, Ill.) October 1, 2009—In an effort to help U.S. veterinary students cope with rising school debt while reinforcing the importance of building a diverse profession and addressing a shortage of food animal veterinarians, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) and Pfizer Animal Health are introducing a new, annual scholarship program that will award up to $2 million through 2012.


The Pfizer Animal Health Veterinary Student Scholarship Program will be administered by the AVMF and funded by Pfizer Animal Health. It will award $2,500 scholarships to more than 225 veterinary students per year in U.S. veterinary schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Applications for the spring 2010 scholarships, available at, are due by November 13, 2009.


“The American Veterinary Medical Foundation is very pleased to be partnering with Pfizer Animal Health on this exciting new scholarship program which will provide significant impact across the country for veterinary students,” explained Michael Cathey, executive director of the AVMF. “Thanks to the generosity of Pfizer Animal Health, this new scholarship program is a tremendous leap forward in not only addressing the rising veterinary student debt but also in addressing diversity and workforce shortages in food animal veterinary medicine.”


“Beyond the serious challenge of rising veterinary student debt, Pfizer Animal Health also sees a troubling record of insufficient diversity within the profession, as well as fewer practicing or skilled food animal veterinarians in rural America,” said Clint Lewis, president of U.S. Operations, Pfizer Animal Health. “We want to not only help shape the future of our veterinary profession, while ensuring that livestock producers, wherever they are in the U.S., may access medicines and health care services for their herds.”


Although the program is open to all 2nd and 3rd year veterinary students, at least 40 percent of the awardees will be students likely to enter food animal medicine or rural practice. Furthermore, approximately 30 percent of scholarship recipients will be from diverse backgrounds, according to age, gender, physical disability and ethnicity, among other characteristics.


These new scholarships have been warmly embraced by the educational community.


“Most, if not all, American veterinary schools are currently trying to answer the questions of how to encourage more young veterinary students to go into rural and large animal medicine, and this new scholarship program seems like a very direct and expedient way of answering that question,” explains Dr. Chris Ross, associate dean for academic affairs at Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine. “Furthermore, diversity is a problem for all educational establishments, so direct measures, like these scholarships, are a great idea.”


AVMA President, Dr. Larry R. Corry agrees.


“It has been said that, ‘Every animal needs a strong foundation.’ This is equally true for the veterinarians who care for them. This program will provide a strong foundation to veterinarians by assisting them in graduating with less debt, provide more opportunities to practice in rural areas and enrich the diversity of the profession as a whole,” Dr. Corry said.


For more information or an application, please visit

Call for AVMA Committee Nominations

Nominations are invited for appointments to vacancies on AVMA committees and trusts to be made at the April 2010 AVMA Executive Board meeting and March 2010 House Advisory Committee meeting. The appointments will be effective following the close of the AVMA Convention in August 2010. Please submit nominations for the available positions in accordance with the Protocol for Appointments by the Executive Board.


A list of current vacancies, committee nomination materials, and the Protocol for Appointments by the Executive Board are available on the AVMA website at
and The current committee nomination form is also attached above.


Committee nominations must be received by the Office of the Executive Vice President by March 8, 2010. Please submit nominations via email to, via fax to 847-925-0944, or via mail to AVMA, Office of the Executive Vice President, 1931 N. Meacham Rd, Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL, 60173. All committee nominations should include the nomination form and a 1-2 page resume.


Because the professional classification codes in an individual’s AVMA member record serve as the reference to determine eligibility for service on an AVMA entity, it is necessary that the AVMA member’s information is current. Candidates should visit the AVMA website at to check the accuracy of their professional activity information. Once at, please click on "Update Your Member Information" and make any adjustments that may be necessary.


Please also see the recent JAVMA News article announcing these and other vacancies, at

ISVMA Policy on AVMA Candidate Endorsements

ISVMA members may petition the ISVMA to nominate them as a candidate for an AVMA officer position, council or committee position 90 days before the AVMA deadline for submission.

• Each petitioner must be a member in good standing with the AVMA and the ISVMA.


• The ISVMA Nominations & Awards Committee will review all AVMA candidate petitions, and:

° Seek input and counsel from the AVMA Delegate and Alternate Delegate from Illinois.


° Obtain background information on each petitioner from the ISVMA Executive Director (i.e. disciplinary records, prior membership involvement, etc.).


° Recommend endorsing petitioners that:

– Meet eligibility criteria established by the AVMA for the position being sought.


– Do not conflict with prior candidate endorsements or agreements made on behalf of the ISVMA Board of Directors or AVMA Delegate or Alternate Delegate from Illinois.


– Will not negatively impact our relationships with other states or organizations and diminish our influence in the AVMA House of Delegate (HOD).


– Will serve the best interests of AVMA, ISVMA and the veterinary profession.

° Present the endorsement recommendations to the ISVMA Board of Directors for approval either at the next regularly scheduled meeting or by electronic vote.

• The ISVMA Executive Director will submit a completed AVMA nomination form to the AVMA for any candidate endorsed by the ISVMA Board of Directors.


• The ISVMA will provide each endorsed candidate for an AVMA officer or council position with in-kind support that includes the printing and distribution of a candidate brochure/information sheet to each AVMA Delegate and Alternate Delegate.


• Any request for additional financial or in-kind support must be submitted by the endorsed candidate to the ISVMA Executive Director for review and approval by the ISVMA Executive Committee in consultation with the AVMA Delegate and Alternate Delegate.

(ISVMA Board Policy Last Revised: February 13, 2008)

About the Photo

The Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) is named for the feathered shanks of its legs. It is a large (about the size of a Red-tailed Hawk), high-soaring hawk of the open country. It has a variety of color phases, from dark melanistic to light. In all color phases these hawks have a very dark band across the chest and black patches on the underside of the wrist. A white patch at the base of the tail is one of the most reliable field marks. In flight the light morph’s long grayish white tail with a broad dark sub-terminal band and white tail coverts contrast sharply with its black belly and dark back.


It is often seen perched on fence posts or dead trees. It flies low on long, thin pointed wings and
is one of the few large hawks that regularly hovers. It eats mostly small rodents and large insects and usually catches prey on the ground. It often hunts from a low perch or by standing on the ground or a small mound. When hunting in flight, the Rough-legged Hawk flies low over open vegetation, quartering slowly back and forth, alternately flapping and gliding or hovering before plunging feet-first on its prey.


The Rough-Legged Hawk breeds in the arctic tundra from Alaska through Canada and into Europe. It is seen in the northern United States during the winter hunting over agricultural fields and grasslands. It is common on its breeding grounds and uncommon to fairly common on its wintering grounds depending on the availability of food.


I photographed this light morph Rough-legged Hawk on Route 66 near Pontiac, Illinois in January 2009.

Contact Us

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1121 Chatham Road
Springfield, IL 62704

Phone: (217) 546-8381

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