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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
DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2014.09.040
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Abstract: Dog management in remote Aboriginal communities is challenging. Geographical isolation results in limited access to veterinary care, language and cultural barriers that may lead to misunderstanding, and poor relations result from the implemention of non-consensual dog control programs. 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. With increasing demand for such programs, new initiatives and approaches are needed to enable expansion of programs into the increasing number of communities that request them. In 2012, a remote community in Tiwi Islands was identified as a community in need of support. There was a large population of free-roaming dogs, many in poor health. With no resident veterinarian and a 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 participate. After 2 years a significant improvement in animal health and stabilization of the dog population had occurred. 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 an original de-sexing rate of 30%. 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 share local culture and customs. Tiwi island dogs have been the main beneficiaries of this collaborative program, but UNE staff and students have also benefited greatly from the cross-cultural interactions.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 9(6), p. e12-e12
Publisher: Elsevier Inc
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1878-7517
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 070203 Animal Management
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 300302 Animal management
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 839901 Animal Welfare
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 109902 Animal welfare
HERDC Category Description: C4 Letter of Note
Appears in Collections:Journal Article

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