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Title: Collaboration improves dog management and welfare in Tiwi islands
Contributor(s): Brown, Wendy  (author)orcid ; Kennedy, Brooke (author); Allen, Jan (author); Cutter, Stephen (author); De Santis, Rosanna (author)
Publication Date: 2014
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Abstract: Dog management in remote Aboriginal communities is fraught with many challenges: geographical isolation resulting in limited access to veterinary care; language and cultural barriers that can lead to misunderstandings, and often a history of poor relations with authority figures that have implemented non-consensual dog control programs previously. In response to these needs and challenges, Animal Management in Rural & Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC) facilitates culturally-sensitive dog health programs to improve animal health and well-being, and provides resources and training to ensure their sustainability. In the face of increasing demand for such programs, new initiatives and approaches are sometimes needed to enable their expansion into the increasing number of communities that request these services. In 2012, a remote community in Tiwi Islands was identified as a community in need of support, with an overpopulation of free-roaming dogs, many in poor health. With no resident veterinarian, and limited capacity to fund additional visiting veterinary services, the Tiwi Islands Regional Council accepted an offer from the University of New England (UNE) to support an annual AMRRIC-facilitated de-sexing and parasite-control program in which UNE students would also participate. Two years on, a significant improvement in animal health and stabilization of the dog population are testament to the success of this collaboration. A recent evaluation revealed that 86% of the dogs had no visible signs of mange, only 2% were underweight, and 68% of the dogs were de-sexed compared with a de-sexing rate of 30% recorded 2 years earlier. The importance of respecting community values and cultural beliefs when implementing a dog health program across two cultures cannot be overemphasized. An important factor in the success of this collaboration has been the willingness of Tiwi community members to participate and willingly share local culture and customs. Whilst local Tiwi island dogs have been the main beneficiary of this collaborative program, UNE staff and students have also benefited greatly from the cross-cultural interactions.
Publication Type: Conference Publication
Conference Details: CSF 2014: 4th Canine Science Forum, Lincoln, United Kingdom, 15th - 17th July, 2014
Source of Publication: 4th Canine Science Forum Abstracts, p. 174-174
Publisher: University of Lincoln
Place of Publication: Lincoln, United Kingdom
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070206 Animal Reproduction
070203 Animal Management
070207 Humane Animal Treatment
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300305 Animal reproduction and breeding
300302 Animal management
300306 Animal welfare
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 839901 Animal Welfare
920405 Environmental Health
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 109902 Animal welfare
200499 Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Category Description: E3 Extract of Scholarly Conference Publication
Appears in Collections:Conference Publication

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