Animal health in remote communities is a new focus of the Coalition Government.
The government today promised to spend $4.3 million to improve community safety and wellbeing for Indigenous Australians through better animal management in remote communities including across the Northern Territory.
Senator Nigel Scullion and CLP Candidate for Lingiari, Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, said this funding will go to Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities who will partner with Indigenous communities to deal with animal health issues.
Just yesterday new research was published which linked some chronic human health problems like scabies in some Indigenous communities has been linked to their pet dogs.
Quality veterinary care for dogs in Indigenous communities is necessary to improve human health, experts are saying.
"Improving the health and safety of communities is one of our key priorities in Indigenous Affairs and the CLP is increasing investment in AMRRIC by over $600,000 a year to enable it to expand to even more communities," Senator Scullion said.
"We are a proud partner with AMRRIC to ensure animals in remote communities are healthy and well managed and today's announcement comes on the back of consultations with communities.
CLP dandidate Jacinta Price said that ensuring dog and cat populations were healthy and well managed were high priorities for many Aboriginal towns and communities across the Territory.
"As both first time and frequent visitors to remote communities can attest, the iconic camp dog (or ten) are a friendly and steadfast feature of most towns across remote Australia.
"It is essential however - and remote communities agree - that cats and dogs are healthy and free from diseases and have their population kept under control," Ms Price said today.
AMMRIC CEO, Dr Brooke Rankmore, and President, Dr. Peter Stephenson, said AMRRIC looks forward to strengthening our relationships with community and regional councils in the NT and beyond and to growing capacity within communities for local animal management outcomes.
Dr Peter Stephenson, AMRRIC President said, "We are delighted that Minister Scullion has continued to support AMRRIC's work and vision for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities that are healthy and safe for people and their companion animals."
Dr. Brooke Rankmore, AMRRIC CEO said, "This funding will allow AMRRIC to increase our activity and support for veterinary and community education programs within Indigenous communities nationally. A key focus will include a specialised cat program in response to emergent cat population and welfare issues over recent years.
Ms Christine Ross, Chair of AMRRIC Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group, today said, "a huge thank you to Minister Scullion's Office for providing AMRRIC with additional funds to expand upon our existing programs that provide vital support particularly through our VETS visiting the most remote locations. For our people we want healthy animals as it means healthy communities.
AMRRIC works with Territory Shire Councils' Indigenous staff in rural areas to train and assist in creating healthy dog and cat populations in remote communities, including to:
- facilitate veterinary outreach activities and find a new mobile veterinary clinic;
- deliver dog health, school and community programs, in partnership with communities, health services, schools and veterinary services;
- work with service providers to set-up animal management strategies integrated into the local Councils' annual plans;
- collect and maintain data on companion animal populations and management history in remote NT communities.
Funding for this program has been allocated out of existing resources in the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
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