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2014 Conference Speakers and Abstracts

Frank AscioneDr Frank Ascione - Scholar in Residence at the University Of Denver Graduate School Of Social Work
Dr. Ascione was the inaugural American Humane Endowed Chair, University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) and is currently a Scholar-in-Residence at the GSSW. He has published articles on the development of antisocial and prosocial behavior in children, co-edited two books and authored two books. The international handbook of animal abuse and cruelty: Theory, research, and application (2008) was edited by Dr. Ascione. In 2010, he was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Waltham Foundation to study children exposed to intimate partner violence and to animal abuse.

Animal abuse and psychopathology: Conduct Disorder and Antisocial Personality Disorder
Anecdotes throughout history suggested a relation between the abuse of animals and compromised mental health in humans. The British artist, William Hogarth, depicted animal abuse in environments where child welfare was at risk. Early research intimated a link between young people’s abuse of animals and rearing environments rife with physical abuse and violence between parents. An expanding body of research demonstrates that animal abuse may be related to other forms of antisocial behavior and limitations in young people’s ability to empathize with people and animals. Animal abuse accompanied by callous and unemotional traits may be especially worrisome. I conclude this presentation with a discussion of bestiality and animal hoarding.

Animal abuse and its relation to intimate partner violence
Case histories of women who were abused by their adult partners and whose companion animals were also harmed abound in the literature on intimate partner violence (IPV). The first systematic research on animal abuse in the context of IPV were conducted in Utah and indicated that the majority of women with pets who sought shelter at domestic violence safe houses or programs reported that their pets had been harmed or killed. This finding was confirmed in research conducted in Melbourne, Australia and in a forthcoming study of adult male sex offenders who also perpetrated domestic violence. This area of research on animal abuse has led to veterinary research on non-accidental injuries to animals and developmental research on children exposed to IPV as well as animal abuse in their home environments. An ongoing, federally funded research study, at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work, that examines these issues is described.

Societal responses to emerging research on animal abuse
Research demonstrating the higher prevalence of animal abuse in environments where humans are also abused uncovered a need for sheltering the pets, and at times, farm animals, of women survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). The role and responsibility of veterinarians whose human clients may be experiencing violence is receiving systematic attention. Legislative responses have included making some forms of animal abuse felony-level crimes and including pets and other animals in orders of protection sought by women escaping IPV. I describe the growing number of programs dedicated to creating safe environments for IPV survivors, their children, and their companion animals as well as increasing attention to animal welfare in cases of elder adult abuse and neglect. I close with recommendations for collaboration among professionals and agencies devoted to human welfare, animal welfare, and enhancing the “health” of environments shared by people and animals.


Ganga De SilvaDr Ganga de Silva - External Liaison Officer for Blue Paw Trust, Sri Lanka
Dr. de Silva has extensive experience in scientifically and humanely improving animal welfare and managing dog populations. This has been achieved by working together with communities and local and international government and NGO organizations.

One Health Approach in Rabies Control: A Key to Success
Rabies is a zoonotic disease that transmits to people mainly from dogs. Minimizing spread at different levels using One Health approach helps control disease. The Humane Dog Population and Rabies Management Project, Colombo, Sri Lanka targeted control at multiple levels; disease spread among dogs, transmission from dogs to humans and preventing people contracting disease post dog bite. This was achieved by mass vaccination (70% of dog population) and sterilization (80% female dogs), educating vulnerable groups in bite prevention and in seeking appropriate post bite care. As a result during the project period of five years annual number of dog rabies cases within city limits reduced from 35 to 03.

Education and Awareness: A must in animal management
Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka was full of roaming dogs. A research carried out in 2007 showed these roaming dogs were the result of roaming dogs breeding on the streets. Community fed them due to religious influence but maltreated them due to nuisance, dog bites, and fear of rabies. Targeted education of community and children (95% primary schools/ puppet shows, 40% secondary schools/seminars, low income communities/street drama + DVD shows) were conducted raising awareness on the surgical sterilization, responsible pet ownership, rabies, bite prevention, post bite measures. Knowledge retention assessment showed marked increase in Primary (23% to 85%) & Secondary (60% to 90%) schools. Community cooperated willingly to sterilize, monitor post surgery recovery and to vaccinate against rabies. Understanding why excess dogs are existing, educating the community on the problem and solutions and thereafter seeking their help to solve the problem will produce excellent results.

Increasing Animal Ownership: A practical method in reducing roaming dog population
Increased roaming dogs are a problem which must be mitigated to improve welfare. Initial assessment of Colombo’s roaming dogs by Humane Dog Population and Rabies Management Project, Colombo, Sri Lanka, indicated these dogs were primarily from excess street dog births. The Project aimed at sterilization and increasing dog ownership. Subtle, intangible methods were used to increase dog ownership: increasing interaction with communities through a “Community Liaison Officer”, setting examples by treating roaming dogs with care and kindness, organizing “Bouwwas Show” the first ever “local dog” show, and making street puppy adoptions fashionable. During the project period of five years lactating mothers’ and pup percentages were reduced (09% to 01% and from 12% to 02% respectively) and communities responded positively.


Kate Natrass-AtemaKate Nattrass Atema Program Director, Companion Animals, International Fund for Animal Welfare
Kate leads the global Companion Animal Programme at IFAW, overseeing community-based dog and cat welfare projects in 12 countries on 6 continents. Kate has worked with the European Parliament, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Bosnia on dog population management and is currently Chairperson of the International Companion Animal Management Coalition (ICAM). Most recently, Kate and her team have focused on the development of novel methods of engaging and empowering communities to improve animal welfare for the long-term to meet both human and animal welfare development goals.

The Role of Animal Welfare in One Health 
The One Health concept recognizes that the health of humans and animals are inextricably linked, and has generated momentum for doctors, veterinarians and public health professionals to work together toward optimal health for all species and the environment we share. Often neglected from the discussion, however, is the role of animal welfare in One Health. Although related, welfare is not necessarily achieved through good health alone, and actions taken to assure good health in the short-term are often insufficient to ensure the longevity of health and welfare in the human and animal population. This talk will address animal welfare in the roaming dog population, factors in its assessment, and why it is important to a discussion of One Health. Most importantly, it will outline why practitioners and policymakers should take notice of the dynamics between human behaviors, animal welfare, and the bond between humans and animals that that impacts community health.

The community experience: Understanding the social impacts of humane animal management 
Animal welfare organizations have worked to address roaming dog issues in diverse communities around the world, and through a variety of interventions have successfully measured improvements in animal welfare and public health. While the impetus for these projects ranges from concern for human safety to a concern about the welfare of animals, little is known about the social impacts of positive animal welfare engagement in these communities. In a recently completed study involving interviews with animal welfare staff on 6 continents and experts in a range of social and public health fields, we have begun to document the wide-ranging impacts that animal welfare may have on the social health and cohesion of communities. This talk will address these community impacts, in particular by using the intergroup contact hypothesis to explain why alterations in roaming dog populations can have a positive rippling effect on the surrounding human community.

3 Cups of Coffee: Participatory animal welfare interventions in traditional Balinese communities 
Dogs are everywhere in Bali, with animals in deplorable physical a common sight along roads and beaches. Interventions have been attempted over the years from an animal welfare perspective, but the introduction of rabies in 2008 brought dogs to the forefront of public health, and “dog population management” became an important topic in the public discourse. Although typically understood as mass sterilization programs or ABC, we implemented an alternative approach, driven by the participation and desires of the communities that keep dogs. Initially conceived as a formal “Participatory Learning and Action (PLA)” program, the program in Bali has taken its own form, including formal PLA techniques as well as dialogue education and social engagement. In just over 2 years, the program has shown a significant improvement in the health and welfare of dogs, and reduced the turnover of the dog population, which has significant public health implications.


Peter ChandlerPeter Chandler
Peter Chandler was born in Swan Hill in Victoria. He joined the Air Force in Queensland and in 1985 was transferred to the Northern Territory where he worked as an Air Force police dog handler. In 1991 Peter left the Air Force to set up a small marketing business. He also joined the Darwin City Council as their Animal Management Supervisor and the Palmerston City Council as their Regulatory Service Manager. Peter’s work in this area saw him awarded a Winston Churchill Fellowship to study animal welfare around the world for 3 months. Peter has also worked for the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Defence Housing Authority but returned to local government when he joined the Palmerston City council in 2004. He was employed there until he was elected to the Palmerston seat of Brennan in 2008.

Peter is passionate about the community, he was a Justice of the Peace for many years, resigning on entering Parliament and over the years has been the chairperson of a number of committees including Bakewell Primary School. Peter played Rugby League for Brothers and the Sharks in Darwin in the late 80s and also played Rugby Union for the RAAF. He enjoys fishing and lives in Palmerston with his wife and four children.

Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Peter Chandler holds the portfolios of:

  •  Education 
  • Lands, Planning and the Environment

Shellie MorrisShellie Morris
2014 National NAIDOC Artist of the Year and NT Australian of the Year, Shellie Morris, is one of Australia’s favourite singer/songwriters. She has worked in more than 40 different remote communities around the country, performing singer-songwriting workshops and leaving a legacy in each area. This has been achieved through work as an ambassador for the Fred Hollows Foundation, work with The Jimmy Little Foundation and as an invited guest to communities themselves. Her own recordings are Shellie Morris, Waiting Road, Cloud 9 and the collaboration with her grandmothers and aunts from Borroloola, the multi-award-winning, ARIA nominated Ngambala Wiji li-Wunungu (Together We Are Strong).

In 2013, Shellie won a Deadly Award and the GR Burrawanga Memorial Award, both for her contribution to the community.


Kirsty OfficerKirsty Officer is a veterinarian with interests in humane dog population management, public health, and wildlife health and conservation. She has volunteered numerous times for Vets Beyond Borders on various dog health programs in India, and was employed during the pilot phase of their VetTrain program. She has worked with a number of wildlife projects in Asia, including over 3 years as the senior veterinarian at Animals Asia’s bear rescue centre in Vietnam. Moving back to Australia recently has given her the opportunity to volunteer a number of times on remote Indigenous community dog health programs with AMRRIC.

Community dog health programs: an international perspective
Community dog health programs are implemented in a range of different cultural contexts and geographical locations, yet they usually share a number of broad aims such as humane dog population management, zoonotic disease control, and improved animal health and welfare. There are also a number of challenges common to dog health programs regardless of where they are operating, and these can include the objective measurement of their impact, and the ensuring of effectiveness, financial efficiency, community and political support, local control, and long-term sustainability. From the perspective of a veterinarian who has volunteered and worked extensively in India, Vietnam and Australia, aspects of dog health programs in a range of different contexts will be compared.


Rick speareRick Speare is registered as both a veterinary surgeon and a public health physician. His PhD was in parasitology and he has recently completed a DVSc on amphibian diseases. Rick has done applied research for 35 years across a broad range of topics in humans and other animals, including zoonoses. He has worked on various aspects of emerging infectious diseases: ranaviruses and chytridiomycosis, Australian bat lyssavirus, pandemic influenza in Indigenous communities, and syndromic surveillance systems for human communities in South Africa and Tuvalu. Improving infection control in veterinary practice has been a topic of research since 2009. Rick is also involved in research capacity strengthening in human health in the Pacific Islands. Rick was one of the original group of veterinarians working to improve dog health in Indigenous communities in the 1980-90s. It was an informal group and little progress was made until Phil Donohoe joined the group and led the push to form AMRRIC. The rate of progress after AMRRIC was established was amazing! Rick was made an Honorary member of AMRRIC in 2011.

One Health: It’s not just about zoonotic diseases!
One Health is a collaborative and multidisciplinary effort at local, national and global levels to guarantee an optimal healthy status for humans, animals and the environment. Zoonotic diseases are a very important component of One Health, but the approach is far wider than zoonoses alone. Animal health in Indigenous communities should offer opportunities for veterinarians to become involved in a more holistic approach. But is this happening?

The emphasis in One Health is on a transdisciplinary approach with all professions working equally in partnership and contributing their particular skills to develop a new approach to make management of problems more efficient. However, although the concept is accepted at the highest international levels, One Health has not yet been implemented at the grass-roots. To be accepted One Health has to demonstrate that this approach leads to more efficient control than the standard approach where agencies focussed on each of the three elements (human health, animal health, environmental health) act in management silos. The field of zoonotic diseases is recognised as offering the most likely opportunities to prove that the One Health approach is more effective than what is currently done. The critical questions to answer are: 1) Is it feasible to integrate human, animal, and environmental health efforts to predict and control certain diseases at the human–animal–ecosystem interface? and 2) Will integrated approaches that consider human, animal, and environmental health components improve prediction and control of certain diseases? Effectiveness will be evaluated through reduction in morbidity and mortality and cost. What can veterinarians working in animal health in Indigenous communities do to explore a One Health approach?


Simon CostelloSimon Costello is a proud Noonuccal man from Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island). Simon’s holds a Senior Program Officer position which aligns with the Queensland Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Public Health Program. He is responsible for providing “on the job” training, project design and implementation, annual work planning, service agreement and annual program reporting. Simon has worked with all 16 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Local Governments throughout Queensland at various points in his career. He has a Diploma of Education, Post Graduate Certificate in Health Management and is currently studying a Master in Public Health. He was instrumental in the development of the AMRRIC Reconciliation Action Plan.

The Aurukun Dog Control Pilot Project; the importance of local leadership, design and implementation
There is a high risk of zoonotic disease potential in remote Aboriginal communities of Queensland. Public health risk intensifies with increasing domestic animal populations often requiring euthanasia of sick, unwanted and un-owned animals. to bring the population under control. This temporary solution for some Aboriginal communities is the norm for managing dog populations. The Aurukun Shire Council identified improving standards of dog control and working in partnership with pet owners as one of the highest priorities for the community. The Environmental Health Worker was the identified Team Leader for all community engagement and project delivery. To guide this process an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Public Health Pilot Program Framework was developed and used to confirm a localised strategy and drive positive change in the community. The results of the project included the development of culturally appropriate pathways and various resources for engaging the local community on sensitive issues such as desexing dogs. An unexpected outcome for the pilot project was the confirmation of a healthy domestic cat population at Aurukun, which lead to permanent desexing of female cats in the community. The reported findings of the pilot project provide other interested stakeholder the opportunity to utilise key learnings and tailor similar engagement activities within their local communities.


Noah PleshettNoah Pleshet was born in Mudgee in rural NSW, and has also lived in Sydney, Alice Springs, and in the USA. He has worked in a university context and with Aboriginal organisations in central Australia. Presently he is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology with New York University, researching the relationships between dogs, people and place in urban and remote Central Australia. His ethnographic fieldwork has engaged with Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Alice Springs, and on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands in South Australia.

Histories of dog ownership in Central Australia
Domestication has been described as twofold process, on the one hand, a process by which humans control and transform animals—their reproduction, diet, range, and their bodies—and, on the other, a process of transforming such animals, at a social level, into objects of value and exchange, and ultimately ownership. Regulating and caring for dog populations requires assumptions about ownership and control of dogs, even as this varies by social and cultural context. Drawing on ethnographic research with Anangu, Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara speaking communities in remote South Australia, this paper looks at contemporary forms of Anangu dog ownership in historical perspective. It asks what these imply about local ideas and practices of dog ownership and control, and comments on implications for dog regulation and health promotion in the context of cultural difference and poverty..


Milla LeelakovMila Lelekov has worked in Local Government collectively over the last decade. Her experiences include working in animal welfare at the Sydney RSPCA and on the Board of Management for the RSPCA Darwin Regional Branch. She has also worked in the Biological Testing Facility at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and was a Biosecurity Officer with the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry at Darwin International Airport. Her goal as the City of Darwin’s Animal Education Officer is to improve all aspects of Animal Management in Local Government Areas across the Territory.

Successful implementation of Indigenous Animal Health Programs
Animal health programs are pivotal to the monitoring and maintenance of reasonable population numbers of animals within the communities and achieving optimal health for their owners. Local Government are able to utilise these programs to ensure compliance with Animal Management By-laws, reducing the incidences reported to Council. Through Cultural awareness, appreciating the significance of animals to indigenous communities assists Council to foster positive relationships with community members. Annual de-sexing programs, and consistent monthly visits to all communities allows City of Darwin to develop a rapport, by removing the ‘regulatory entity’ stigma, and be seen as a community-focused organisation there to assist them. Through collaboration with AMRRIC, City of Darwin can successfully manage the animal population within the indigenous communities by providing a positive understanding of de-sexing programs, registration, and micro-chipping. This combined with education on basic health care, achieves sustainable benefits for the animals and families who care for them.


TicksAssociate Professor Peter Irwin is a veterinarian who teaches small animal medicine at Murdoch University and leads a research team investigating vector-borne diseases of animals and people in Australia. Alex Gofton works as a research assistant in the Cryptick laboratory at Murdoch University.

Dogs, Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases
Alex Gofton, Charlotte Oskam, Andrea Paparini, Una Ryan and Peter Irwin School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150
The brown dog tick, Rhipicephalus sanguineus, is a three-host tick that is enzootic in tropical and sub-tropical regions where dogs are plentiful. While all stages of this tick prefer to feed on dogs, humans are occasionally bitten as well. The brown dog tick is responsible for the transmission of babesiosis (B. vogeli), anaplasmosis (A. platys), and canine haemotropic Mycoplasma species to dogs in Australia and, potentially, the transmission of rickettsial infections to both dogs and people. Our research utilizes the latest molecular techniques, next generation sequencing, to search for potentially zoonotic vector-borne pathogens in ticks removed from humans, dogs, other domesticated animals and wildlife in Australia. We will present information pertaining to tick-borne diseases in dogs and the results of recent studies into diseases of zoonotic importance that are transmitted by ticks in Australia.


Amy DunstoneAmy Dunstone completed her honours in Animal Science at the University of Adelaide. She is an Australian Volunteer of International Development (AVID) working with Bali (Dog) Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre to improve the efficiency of the clinic and capacity building the local staff. She has will be on assignment for two years. She is passionate about improving the health and welfare of animals in developing areas through education. Her roles at BARC include street rescue program, facilitating adoptions and overseeing patient care and recovery. She has also established BARC’s foster care program for young puppies and kittens.

Improving animal health and welfare in Bali: The squeaky wheel gets the oil
The Bali Dog has inhabited Bali for over 12,000 years, long before the settlement of people. They have been a cherished symbol of protection and companionship for centuries. In recent times, the outbreak of Rabies in 2008 on the island, has lead to fear of dogs. Government led vaccination programs has involved lack of co-ordination and low potency vaccines, meaning it has taken longer than required to get the disease under control (Clifton, 2010). It is estimated that the canine population on the island is approximately 800,000 dogs (Irion et al. 2005), many which are un-owned. There are no current government funded or supported mass sterilisation programs. This leads to animals facing neglect and conditions such as Demodex mange, Distemper virus and Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumour (CTVT) being widespread. BARC’s mission is to raise the profile of the Bali dog and improve their health and welfare by supporting the Balinese to love & cherish their animals.


Bonny CummingsBonny Cumming is a veterinarian and project coordinator for AMRRIC’s Aboriginals Benefit Account funded Animal Management Worker program.  Her first association with AMRRIC began when she was a volunteer vet student for a dog health program at Kintore in 2008; since this time she has remained a passionate supporter of AMRRIC’s work.  After joining the team in October 2013, Bonny has travelled regularly to Indigenous Communities within East Arnhem Regional Coucil, to deliver training and support to the ABA funded Animal Management Workers.

The Animal Management Worker Program – Its Personal Impact
Through the words of those involved, Bonny’s presentation aims to tell the personal stories tied to the Animal Management Worker Program, highlighting the growth and achievements of those involved, reflecting on some of the hardships, and celebrating the individuals who have contributed to the program’s success.


Phil ElsgoodPhil Elsegood is a Director of CCC, an NT based Indigenous business. The company has developed a unique model for cross cultural training grounded in universal theory and validated regularly in practical community development settings. Phil has developed SME aquaculture projects in partnership with indigenous communities and consults regularly to a wide range of Government, NGO and Private sector organisations. Phil has extensive experience working in the Northern Territory (40 years). He has been conducting cross-cultural training workshops for 20 years as well as working in remote areas on various community development programs.

Cross Cultural Training
As a Nation State, Australia has struggled since colonisation with the place of the First Australians in our social fabric. They have variously been seen as noble savages, sub-human, an embarrassment, a living treasure, etc. but still their place in the current and future fabric remains unclear. It is time we resolved this issue once and for all. The way in which we deal with the Aboriginal people of Australia will define us as a nation; not only in our own eyes but in the eyes of the world and our failure to respectfully integrate them into our daily life will have enormous consequences. These consequences will be evident in their physical, emotional, spiritual and mental well being. It will also have a debilitating impact on their companion animals;, dogs, cats, pigs, buffalo, etc. This presentation will look at the relationship between Aboriginal people and these companion animals.


Cyril Perumamthadathil is a lecturer in Veterinary Reproduction at the Charles Sturt University. After graduating with a BVSc from the Kerala Agricultural University (India), Cyril practiced as a veterinarian for 10 years. Later he pursued a doctoral residency program in Theriogenology (DVSc) at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada. Before moving to Australia, he worked as a Theriogenologist at the Atlantic Veterinary College, Canada for a short term. Cyril became a Diplomate of the American College of Theriogenologists in 2012. His main interests include management of reproduction in equine, bovine and companion animals, infertility, obstetrics and embryo transfer. He also has special interest in transcervical insemination (TCI), and contraceptive techniques in dogs.

Non-surgical options for canine population control – What’s available and what’s on the horizon?
Perumamthadathil CS, Gunn AJ, Norman ST School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Charles Sturt University
Approximately 75% of the world’s dog population is stray or feral. These animals can be responsible for nuisance behaviour, predation and ecological threats, in addition to diseases affecting animal production and human health. Currently, euthanasia or fertility control are options commonly used to mitigate feral animal problems. However, due to the perception and reality of euthanasia being unpalatable to most societies, the focus of population control has shifted to management by fertility control. Surgical sterilisation is considered the gold standard for contraception, but is not without its risks, expense and logistical limitations. Therefore, this review will focus on the latest options available for non-surgical contraception in dogs which include hormonal contraceptives (e.g. Gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists), immunocontraceptives (e.g. vaccines against GnRH, zona pellucida proteins) and male chemical sterilants (zinc gluconate, calcium chloride). Additionally, recent research has targeted fertility control at the molecular level such as targeted gene silencing through RNA interference and anti-kisspeptins. Hopefully, a single dose treatment that will address most of the criteria for an ideal contraceptive including: social acceptance, animal welfare, efficacy, legal compliance, feasibility, and sustainability, will soon be available. However, transition from surgical to non-surgical population control will require support from animal population management stake-holders and government policy.


mark stevensonProfessor Mark Stevenson, Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology (One Health) The University of Melbourne
Mark Stevenson is a veterinary epidemiologist with expertise in the area of infectious disease epidemiology, spatial epidemiology and simulation modelling of infectious disease spread. He is currently Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology (One Health) at The University of Melbourne. Mark graduated with a Bachelor of Veterinary Science from the University of Sydney in 1986. He completed a Master of Veterinary Science from the University of Sydney in 1995 and a PhD in veterinary epidemiology from Massey University (New Zealand) in 2003

One Health: Reflections from the Coalface In 2010
Peter Rabinowitz (Director of the Yale Human Animal Medicine Project) went on record as saying ‘In many of its current forms, the concept of One Health is long on visionary scope and maddeningly short on tangible specifics and short term action steps for implementation’.  This talk will provide an overview of the history of the One Health movement. Rabinowitz’s comments will be challenged, supported by examples from studies and projects initiated and run by individuals working in the medical, veterinary and environmental sciences. Using these examples the tangible specifics and the short (and long) term action steps allowing the visionary scope of One Health to be realised will be defined.


Debbie MarriottProfessor Debbie Marriott is a senior specialist at St. Vincent’s hospital, Sydney, an adjunct professor at the University of Technology, Sydney, and a conjoint Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales.

Prof. Marriott is recognised as an expert in infections in immuno-compromised hosts and therapeutic drug monitoring and has over 160 publications in refereed journals. She has been an invited speaker at a number of international and national meetings. She is a founding member and past president of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine and past state representative for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, clinical representative on the NSW State TB Advisory Committee, an examiner for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and she serves on a number of hospital committees. Recently she was elected President of the Transplant Infectious Diseases society. She has a passion for animals, in particular dogs, and has a large family of rescued canines that occupy her non-working hours.

Bites, Bowels and Bugs: do our canine companions make us sick?
Dogs and humans have been companions for tens of thousands of years, often living in close proximity and usually in perfect harmony. Occasionally the microbial flora of one species can pass to the other, most commonly via a bite or acquisition of an enteric pathogen such as Giardia, Campylobacter or Cryptosporidium. Animal bites constitute a significant public health problem with approximately 2% of the Australian population bitten annually and dogs are associated with approximately 80% of these bites. Children are the most common victims and sexually intact male dogs the most likely to bite. Injury due to blunt force and infection are the most frequent complications. In general humans and animals harbour host-specific enteric pathogens. The literature suggests that zoonotic transmission of host-adapted species is uncommon although domestic animals may be potential reservoirs of these organisms, particularly within households.


Sally MeakinSally Meakin is the Victorian Manager of the RSPCA Education Department. She spends her days ‘talking to the animals”- all for work of course! - while she oversees an enthusiastic group of two - legged and four - legged educators . She says yes far too often, but loves the diversity of experiences this brings her way. A career highlight has been working collaboratively to establish an animal welfare education program for school students and communities in the Pacific. She has recently returned from time in the field evaluating the outcomes and experiencing for herself just how powerful this education program can be.

Changing lives – Mine and Theirs - Community based Animal welfare education
Our daily lives are filled with human-animal interactions. Raising awareness about animal welfare has been a component of social change movements and ethical development for students of all ages for decades. Recent research supports the one-health model with evidence that improved respect and empathy toward animals also improves interpersonal relationships. RSPCA Victoria believes Animal Welfare Education should develop and nurture respect, kindness, empathy and positive attitudes towards animals and people. We offer a comprehensive evidence-based program, actively promoting education as a preventative strategy. We deliver this program directly and supportively, acting as teacher-educators with indigenous Pacific Island communities and Melbourne’s culturally and linguistically diverse communities. As welfare organisations continue to witness tragic pet overpopulation and animal neglect, animal welfare education seeks to respectfully inform attitudes and behaviours, so the need to rescue and provide front-line services can ultimately be reduced or, in a perfect world, eliminated.


Regina HillRegina Hill has worked as a consultant for over fifteen years. She works with government at a State and Federal level on strategic policy development, program design and evaluation and with not for profit organisations on organisational capacity building. Regina has worked with a range of government departments and organisations across the Aboriginal, Education, Employment, Social Services, Health, Disability and Arts sectors. She specialises in providing support in relation to organisational strategy, operational and financial planning and management, organisational and service system structure, process (re)design, capability development and policy and program design, implementation and evaluation

Indigenous communities: key findings from the evaluation of AMRRIC’s Animal Management Worker Program 
This paper will discuss key findings and insights about the effective delivery of animal management programs in regional and remote Indigenous communities identified through the evaluation of AMRRIC’s Animal Management Worker Program. It will discuss key success factors associated with the implementation of such programs and look at the different ways that such programs can be implemented to take into account the specific infrastructure and resources available in local communities.


Laurencie BrunelLaurencie Brunel graduated from the University of Nantes, France in 2006. She then completed an internship followed by a surgical internship in Small Animals. In 2008, she moved to Belgium where she completed a residency in Small Animal Surgery. 
In 2010, she obtained a Master Degree in Veterinary Sciences. After her residency, she worked as a Junior Lecturer in Small Animal Surgery at the University of Liège. 
In 2013 she obtained the ECVS Diploma (European Small Animal Surgery Specialist). Laurencie has been working as a Specialist in Small Animal Surgery at the University of Sydney since January 2014.
Her special interests include all aspects of minimally invasive surgery including laparoscopy, thoracoscopy and arthroscopy.

Ovariectomy versus ovariohysterectomy for routine desexing?
The choice between ovariectomy and ovariohysterectomy is based on the surgeon preference and the owner request. There is no right or wrong choice but the ovariectomy is equally effective and accomplished the same goals as an ovariohysterectomy. Performing an ovariectomy is easier, faster and associated with lower morbidity (smaller incision, less intraoperative trauma and reduced discomfort) compared with an ovariohysterectomy. No significant differences between techniques were observed for incidence of long term urogenital problems including cystic endometrial hyperplasia/pyometra complex and urinary incontinence. An ovariohysterectomy is the traditional desexing method in Australia but it is just unnecessary in most cases.


Jan HannahJan Hannah is responsible for developing and managing IFAW’s community companion animal projects in Canada as well as advising and working on companion animal issues and education programs internationally. Her focus on companion animal welfare merges her long-term interest of working with animals and communities with the objective of building humane and sustainable programs that improve the health and welfare of animals through education and community engagement. Outreach, advice, community development and service provision are cornerstones to IFAW’s work that provides contextual and culturally relevant solutions to local issues.

The Northern Dogs Project – working with Canadian First Nations dogs and their people
IFAW’s Northern Dogs Project runs comprehensive dog management programs in James Bay Cree (Eeyou Istchee) communities in Canada, working together with First Nations to provide culturally relevant programs and materials for both adults and youth. Many of Canada’s First Nations people live in remote communities, and deal with a number of negative health, safety, social, and economic issues. As a result, dogs living in these communities also suffer from these conditions, as well as from ignorance, cruelty, neglect and lack of available services. The Northern Dogs Project aims to build partnerships to address each community’s individual dog issues and concerns while working to build positive relationships with dogs on an individual level.


Alice MitchellAlice Mitchell has lived for quite some years in Aboriginal communities in NE Arnhem Land enabled me to learn language and gain an understanding of the world view of the people. This provides the foundation for my practice as a health professional and applied linguist. (Grad dip Midwifery 2001 and Master Applied Linguistics 2012) My focus has been on general health literacy with people who do not have English as a first language and who do not have biomedical knowledge as part of their group history. I am currently part way through PhD studies around rheumatic fever with Menzies School of Health Research.

A discourse on doctors, dogs and diseases
In this presentation the concept of ‘community’ will be explored because the definition we hold to affects how we approach the Aboriginal communities we work in. Some characteristics of everyday life in community will be presented. New practitioners coming to work in communities can be confronted by the new (to them) diseases or new demographics of known diseases. This can lead to questions of just where these diseases come from and what can be done about it? Some reflections will be given of my experiences of learning to become a community educator in Aboriginal communities. A methodology was practised that can be used to teach on any topic. A narrative of one boy’s journey will be told (with family permission).


Ted DonelanDr Ted Donelan is a veterinarian based in Melbourne, where he has been running his own private practices for more than 30 years. He is a Fellow of the Australian Veterinary Association, a Senior Academic Associate of the University of Melbourne and Life Member of RSPCA Victoria. Ted has a long history of involvement in animal welfare and animal management policy planning and implementation at local, state and national levels. He has also had decades of interest in indigenous affairs. For the past ten years Ted has provided a veterinary service including a comprehensive dog health program to the remote indigenous community of Maningrida, which with its outstations encompasses and area of some 10,000 square kilometers in Arnhem Land. Following these interests, it was a natural progression to involvement in the developing organisation that became Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC), where Ted is currently President.

Canine transmissible venereal tumour: An ancient parasitic life-form which has colonised dogs worldwide
Canine transmissible venereal tumour (CTVT) is a disease that is spread between dogs by the transfer of living cancer cells. CTVT is usually transmitted during coitus, and results in tumours of the external genitalia. We have recently sequenced the complete genomes of two CTVT tumours, one collected in Maningrida, Australia, and the other in Franca, Brazil. Our analysis has indicated that CTVT first arose as a cancer in a dog that lived approximately 11,000 years ago. The cancer from this dog survived beyond the death of this individual, and has now spread around the world as a parasitic life-form. We will discuss the worldwide distribution and prevalence of CTVT, and discuss recent results from CTVT genetic analysis. CTVT is an important disease affecting thousands of dogs around the world, and our results may provide new strategies for the prevention and treatment of this disease,


Jennifer evansJennifer Evans is a published academic, who has presented papers at several international conferences. She is also a qualified school teacher. Jennifer has been involved in animal welfare for the last 20 years, and is particularly interested in the connection between education and animal welfare. These interests impelled her to start her studies in Veterinary Nursing. Jennifer has lived overseas, particularly in south-east Asia, for many years. She lives jointly in Canberra and a property in rural NSW. Alpaca, dogs, rescue kittens, chooks, a willful goat, native wildlife and human visitors keep her occupied.

Animal Health and Welfare: Lessons from the Philippines
Jennifer’s presentation discusses her recent experience with animal welfare management, including human interaction and responsibilities, in the Philippines. She will focus on what she has learnt and how it may be applicable in remote and developing communities in Australia. Jennifer will look at how urban experiences and knowledge, and the remote community experience of animal welfare and the human involvement can inform each other. This discussion will be based on her experience in animal welfare in Australia, and in urban and remote communities in the Philippines, specifically La Union in the north-west of this country and which is made up of over 4000 islands. The impact of ‘colonisation’ over centuries on the ability of communities for self-management has to be finely balanced with the need for external assistance.


Jeroen Van Kernebeek Jeroen Van Kernebeek acquired a Master’s Degree in Educational Sciences at the University of Groningen in The Netherlands. He has worked for several Dutch animal protection societies as Campaign Manager and coordinated the Roots & Shoots education program for the Jane Goodall Institute in The Netherlands. Since coming to Australia Jeroen has been a consultant for World Animal Net (WAN) and Campaign Manager at Animals Australia. Jeroen is the first Australian representative of FOUR PAWS International, recently established in Sydney, and is also the Australian Director of GREY2K USA Worldwide, the world's largest organisation dedicated to ending the suffering of greyhounds in the racing industry.

FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Control
FOUR PAWS Stray Animal Control FOUR PAWS International has offices in 12 countries with Headquarters in Austria. Over the past 26 years it has grown from a grassroots organisation formed to oppose the fur industry to a broad international entity running many campaigns and projects. These include sanctuaries for the rescue and rehabilitation of captive wild animals, opposition and consumer education in relation to intensive animal farming and sustainable Stray Animal Care (SAC) and control. The FOUR PAWS SAC program assists animals in Europe, Asia and Africa, with a focus on neutering, vaccination, veterinary care and community education. FOUR PAWS works in cooperation with local communities, training local veterinarians as needed, and at a political level where feasible. FOUR PAWS is recently established in Australia and appreciates the opportunity to introduce its work to conference delegates with a view to contributing to humane solutions for stray animal care and control in the future.


Wendy BrownWendy Brown has a PhD in canine nutrition and a long career with animals - from animal technician to zookeeper, track rider, and veterinary nurse. She leads a successful canine research program at UNE and her current teaching portfolio includes Wild Dog Ecology, Working Canines, and Animals in Society. In recent years, several of Wendy’s students have taken up the opportunity to share in Tiwi culture through an AMRRIC-facilitated, UNE-sponsored dog health program in Tiwi islands.

Evaluating the effectiveness of AMRRIC-facilitated dog health programs
Dr Wendy Brown is the Supervisor for Brooke Kennedy, Honours student at UNE and will be presenting her research on her behalf. Due to a lack of veterinary care in remote communities, AMRRIC-facilitated dog health programs provide de-sexing, parasite control and voluntary euthanasia to help manage dog population and health status. Three Northern Territory communities with available historical data, representing varying sizes and frequency of dog health programs, were selected for independent evaluation. The effectiveness of these programs was determined by dog health indices (body condition and mange scores), and population demographics (dog numbers and percentage of dogs de-sexed). Scientifically evaluating the effectiveness of dog health programs is important to maintain the quality of these programs and to ensure future funding.


Paul McGreevyProfessor Paul McGreevy is a veterinarian and ethologist. The author of over 150 peer-reviewed scientific publications and six books, he is Professor of Animal Behaviour and Animal Welfare Science at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Veterinary Science. Paul has received numerous national and international awards for his research and teaching innovations Paul’s canine studies have revealed the extraordinary effects that a dog’s breed and shape have on its health and behaviour. His pioneering studies of canine handedness have shown how this attribute can at least double the accuracy of guide dog selection. He has established a novel disease surveillance system for monitoring acquired and inherited disorders in dogs. He has also shown how valuable dogs are for non-invasive dementia research that assists our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

Revealing dogmanship
Prof McGreevy is currently supervising a project that examines why some people get a better tune out of dogs than others. He calls this dogmanship. Dogmanship describes the ability of humans to interact effectively with dogs in both husbandry and training contexts. Paul will report on a recent study that examined relationships between human characteristics and dog management practices in Australian stock dog handlers. Higher handler conscientiousness scores were associated with handlers’ consistency and their ability to appreciate that working with stock is a reward for dogs. Additionally, there was a negative relationship between neuroticism and handlers’ success in working dog competitions, which aligns with recent research regarding this personality dimension and dyadic functionality in human-dog pairs and suggests that low neuroticism scores might be indicative of good dog handling ability. Several significant predictors of relatively positive management practices emerged from the data. These included dog housing styles, handler gender and handlers’ attitudes towards their dogs. Paul will discuss the prospects for relating these findings to dog safety programs.


Judith Mulholland

Dr. Judith Mulholland has been involved in many aspects of the horse industry. A qualified farrier, Jude has held a thoroughbred trainer’s licence and in her mid-thirties returned to school to qualify as a veterinarian. Jude’s horse work has taken her around the country and recently to Egypt working with the pyramid precinct horses for the Prince Fluffy Kareem (PFK) organisation. Jude runs discounted cat desexing programs in northern Victoria and through AMRRIC has been heavily involved in dog health programs in Arnhem Land, Barkly and Central Desert Shires. In 2013, at the AMRRIC Conference in Alice Springs, Jude learnt about the crisis facing the animals of Kiribati. In August 2014 Jude travelled to Kiribati with a group of veterinary volunteers to provide animal health and management programs to the communities. Jude will provide an update on the situation in Kiribati during the lunch break on Day 2 of the 10th Anniversary AMRRIC Conference.


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