The AMRRIC team in Wadeye.
On 20th July 2020, the AMRRIC field team stepped out of the office on the first AMRRIC veterinary program following extensive lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. AMRRIC-contracted veterinarian Dr Amy Hardwick accompanied AMRRIC Program Manager Dr Chelsea, Project Officer Katrina and Education Officer Courtney to the West Daly region. Beginning in Wadeye, the team performed a companion animal census alongside the veterinary and education program. The census was conducted with the help of Thamarrurr Development Corporation Rangers, who are trained and experienced in using the AMRRIC app to continue census and anti-parasitic treatments between veterinary visits. The census was successful in counting animal numbers including pictures of each, as well as, recording body condition and skin condition. This data helps us to map the trends of animal ownership in Wadeye, while monitoring the general health and welfare of the animal population. Throughout the course of the census, 505 animals were treated for parasites.
The 5-day veterinary service program in Wadeye served as a test run for the new equipment acquired by AMRRIC this year, including the new anaesthetic machine set-up. The team quickly found their groove and the program was successful, with 42 dogs and 1 cat surgically desexed. Two dogs were also treated for wounds, one from a run in with a buffalo and the other a lawnmower – both recovered well. Thirteen dogs and cats were vaccinated at cost to their Owners, and once combined with donations, this accrued $1500 to be directly contributed back to the West Daly Regional Council veterinary programs.
The busy week in Wadeye quickly came to a close and, following a restful weekend break on the Daly River to recharge, the team moved on to their next destinations: Palumpa (Nganmarriyanga) and Peppimenarti. Palumpaand Peppimenarti are regularly serviced by the West Arnhem Land Dog Health Program (WALDHeP) care of Dr Lucy White and Dr Frances Higgins. Unfortunately, due to travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the WALDHeP team were unable to attend. Through the week the AMRRIC team was able to provide 28 desexing operations as well as treat 125 animals for parasites, deliver Ivermectin anti-parasitic training to the Ranger group coordinator and they also had a visit from a beautiful Olive python!
Overall, a wonderful 2 weeks in the West Daly region, where the AMRRIC field team was privileged to be out of lockdown and once again doing what they love – providing veterinary and education services in remote communities.
The funding for this program was supplied by West Daly Regional Council’s Special Purpose Grant for Animal Management, and we are grateful to Thamarrurr Development Corporation and Deewin Kirim Aboriginal Corporation Rangers for their support and collaboration.