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The Animal Welfare Program aims to improve the health and wellbeing of companion animals and improve the overall health and wellbeing of remote Indigenous communities. Led by Veterinarian, Dr Emma Kennedy, the East Arnhem Regional Council Animal Welfare Program delivers a range of Vet & Animal Welfare services including education in all East Arnhem communities.

To date these services have centred on day-to-day coordination of dog programmes including community vet visits to de-sex dogs, euthanaise unwanted dogs, administer anti-parasitic medicines and undertake minor surgery.

Although the Council is committed to providing a level of Vet Services there is a need to ensure that this meets other key community needs with respect to animal control. Strengthening the animal control program through the development of policy that enables the development of formalised animal control has been highlighted as a key need.

This includes developing appropriate local laws, consulting with community members, exploring options for animal population control, educating community members and developing skills and capacity within communities to support the program.

A key outcome of the Animal Welfare Program has been the allocation of funding for the employment of 10 local indigenous Animal Management Workers.


  • Delivery of twice yearly vet services to each community in the East Arnhem Regional Council
  • Community consultation and education where required in relation to animal control issues
  • Coordination of the Animal Welfare Sub- Committee
  • Supporting other Council functions such as Workplace Health and Safety in relation to animal control issues 

East Arnhem Regional Council currently works with the Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC) and is funded through the Aboriginal Benefit Account (ABA).