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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin Alcohol and other drugs knowledge centre Yarning Places

Controlling dog populations in remote communities to improve Indigenous health outcomes

Date posted: 6 June 2014

A push to reduce out of control dog populations has improved Indigenous health outcomes by preventing the spread of disease-causing parasites in remote communities.

Animal Management in Remote and Regional Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC) coordinator John Skuja said burgeoning canine populations were having a direct impact on the health of the human communities they inhabit. 'People need to get the link between environmental health and their health,' he said. 'Being surrounded by sick and dying puppies is not conductive to human health. It’s not rocket science to see it’s a problem.'

However animal management workers supported by AMMRIC now work across East Arnhem. They are trained in animal aid, parasite control and euthanasia. They set out every three months to check on dogs and drop off tick control, which they put in bread for the dogs to eat. A Barkly Shire survey last month revealed that of its 15,000 dog population, most were in good health, with few animals testing positive to scabies. In turn, the Shire’s Utopia health clinic reported a 76 per cent decrease in human skin sores within the last year.

Academics have also backed the AMRRIC initiative, which supplies field-data on zoonotic diseases.

Source: The New Daily


Last updated: 10 June 2014
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