Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC) will lead a grassroots collaboration with Indigenous community stakeholders across more than 20 communities in Northern Australia, to improve Indigenous community animal health surveillance capacity, through the collection and reporting of community animal health and biosecurity data via the custom-designed AMRRIC App.
In partnership with community-based collaborators, AMRRIC has received $1.257m funding via the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Biosecurity Business Grants Program which funds Indigenous organisations to develop opportunities that capitalise on biosecurity.
The project will be delivered by AMRRIC in partnership with remote Indigenous community stakeholders in the NT, WA and QLD. AMRRIC will collaborate with the Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy (NAQS) and Wildlife Health Australia (WHA) to ensure that surveillance undertaken throughout the project aligns with Australia’s biosecurity priorities.
The three-year collaborative project will enhance biosecurity capacity in remote Indigenous communities and support Indigenous economic opportunities, by supporting the employment of over 40 local community members.
“Vast distances, seasonal access challenges, cultural differences and limited veterinary and animal health capacity within remote Indigenous communities pose significant challenges to the early detection of animal disease events,” AMRRIC CEO Dr Brooke Rankmore said.
“Recent animal disease events including the outbreak of Ehrlichia canis currently devastating dog populations in many remote communities across Northern Australia, and the threat of incursions of exotic diseases such as rabies and African swine fever emphasise the urgent need for improved animal biosecurity data capture in remote Indigenous communities.”
The custom-designed AMRRIC App has been tailored to suit the unique context of remote Indigenous communities, featuring a user-friendly interface, extensive use of images, icons and design features to minimise the need for text input and aid in ensuring data validity.
The animal health surveillance data captured through the AMRRIC App will be shared with biosecurity authorities, contributing to improvements in Australia’s animal biosecurity surveillance, and to animal health in remote Indigenous communities.