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Remote Communities

Remote Communities

Delivery of animal health, welfare and control programmes on remote indigenous communities has unique social, cultural and logistic considerations. The six papers listed below are concerned only with management of dogs and cover issues identified in the delivery of programs in Central Australia, the Kimberley in WA, Far North Queensland, and the Top End of NT. They cover delivery by private veterinarians, government departments, universities, indigenous organisations and the army. At the end of this summary and in the main website, the two papers considered of highest relevance to the topic have the authors in bold type and an abstract is provided for each.

Main issues

All papers touch on the cultural issues that must be appreciated before becoming involved in a Dog Health Programme (DHP). "Some problems of dog health and control in Aboriginal and Islander Communities in North Queensland" points out the differences in attitudes and values between indigenous Australians living on a remote community and those of the general population. Although written over 15 years ago, these points are still relevant today, and for this reason, this paper has been highlighted. "Central Australian Aboriginal Communities - dog health programs" notes that "The greater the cultural significance of dogs, the more likely the information about the role of dogs will be secret."

The importance of sustainability of DHPs is covered in detail by "Education and training for sustainable dog health programs", and it is for this reason that this paper is highlighted. The point is made that "Every community is different, and in every case a program will need to be tailored to the specific requirements of that group of people."

Other issues

  • Problems caused by dogs on indigenous communities

  • Problems likely to be encountered when running a DHP

  • The role and acceptability of euthanasia

  • The possibility that aggression in dogs increases following a DHP

  • The link between dog health and human health


These papers range over a period of 11 years, from 1992 - 2002. Most of the information is still relevant today. For more recent material, please see the Animal Management on Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC) website.