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Working toward our targets at Cherbourg

Over the three weeks, the Cherbourg Animal Health Team were kept busy providing essential veterinary services as well as educational activities and lessons.

For the last three years, AMRRIC has partnered with Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, The University of Queensland (UQ) School of Veterinary Science and Darling Downs Public Health Unit to deliver an annual animal health program at Cherbourg, in SE Queensland.  The program continues to grow from strength to strength and is now a fixture in the Cherbourg community calendar.  Each year the program is eagerly anticipated by the community members, and the number of final year veterinary students from UQ wishing to participate continues to grow.  The success of the team’s wholistic approach and culturally appropriate community engagement is reflected in the booking list, which for this year, was oversubscribed.

During their visit in October, the team desexed 56 dogs and 13 cats, implanted 94 microchips and performed 184 general health checks.  Additionally, thanks to the ongoing generosity of Boehringer Ingelheim, 900 doses of NexGard, ParaGard and HeartGard, and 30 doses of Cat Frontline and ParaGard have been or will be administered to the community’s animals by Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council staff.  

For the final year veterinary students participating, delivering school education sessions were a particular highlight – a total of nine animal care and responsible pet ownership lessons were delivered to Cherbourg State School students from Pre-prep to Year 6.  The team were also thrilled to host a work experience student who spent the day in the ‘clinic’, learning from the final year vet students and consolidating her desire to study vet once she graduates high school.

This year, CASC performed a community-wide dog and cat census in the month prior to the animal health program.  The door-to-door census enabled updating of the community animal registration records and promotion of the upcoming program.  Data analysis reveals that following the 2018 animal health program, 47% of the community’s dogs have been desexed, and 42% of the community’s cats have been desexed.  Considering that fewer than 5% of the dog and cat populations were desexed prior to the establishment of this program, this is a great result! All of the collaborators look forward to continuing to provide population-management focused veterinary services so that we can reach our target of at least 80% of the animal populations desexed.

There are so many people who played a part in making the 2018 Cherbourg Animal Health Program a success; thank you to you all! AMRRIC is so thrilled to have been involved since the inception of this program, and see it continue to grow in sustainability and outcomes.

Read more about the Cherbourg partnership’s development and inaugural program here, or the 2017 program here.

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