Northern Territory Legislation

Latest developments

Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC) today welcomes $2.89million funding from the Northern Territory Aboriginal Benefit Account (ABA) to boost dog health and management in Indigenous communities of the Northern Territory. 

The community enhancement grant from the ABA will go towards implementing a sustainable animal management worker program (the Project) in four Shires of the Northern Territory:

East Arnhem, West Arnhem, MacDonnell and Tiwi Islands. The Project will run for three years and will create ten new positions.

“This is the first time in the Northern Territory that an AMRRIC styled animal management program has been funded on this scale. We are thrilled that a forward thinking government, 

ABA and Shires have put their support and trust in AMRRIC to deliver the Project by recognising the value of empowering local Aboriginal people in dealing with thecomplex issues

of dog management in remote Indigenous communities,” said Dr Ted Donelan, President AMRRIC.

Recognised as a model for best practice by the Federal Government, AMRRIC’s dedication to cross-cultural sensitivity and understanding has enabled it to develop a system for veterinarians and others to work within Indigenous communities whereby human rights, capacity building, grass-roots approach and local empowerment are promoted. 

“In the past we’ve seen unsustainable short-term programs being imposed upon Aboriginal communities by external groups to address immediate animal health and control issues which have had little long-term effects. 

This project is based on bringing about positive sustainable change through the implementation of community developed control programs, Shire policy, appropriate veterinary practice and inbuilt education and capacity building strategies.

“Having locally trained Aboriginal Animal Management or Environmental Health Workers, who live and engage with local people in the Shires participating in this Project, we aim to achieve a respectful and sustainable dog management program in the future,” said Dr Donelan.

AMRRIC believes that the links between healthy animals and healthy people and environment are obvious. By treating the animals against parasites, controlling dog numbers, discouraging aggression and addressing environmental factors, improvements in the overall health of Indigenous communities is promoted.

A Project Coordinator will work alongside the local animal management workers offering support and training and helping implement two-way education programs within communities. 

Three years gives AMRRIC and the Shires time to implement and administer the Project, evaluate success and hopefully gain support from the NT Government to commit to and expand to include all Shires in the Northern Territory. 

“We are excited and full of hope for the results we’ll see over the next three years. We believe it is just the beginning of a move towards more appropriate and sustainable animal management in Aboriginal Communities of NT,” said Dr Donelan.

The Program outcomes:

  • Engage and meaningfully employ Aboriginal people within their communities to undertake their job description and prepare them for future employment opportunities
  • Build community strength, resilience and skills
  • Provide training and build skills within communities to own and drive their own programs to improve the health of their dogs and hence the community overall
  • Contribute to the improvement of the health, welfare and management of dogs in remote communities
  • Provide two way education opportunities to better understand the impact if zoonosis (diseases that spread from dogs to humans) and poor dog health on community members, understand by-laws and current legislation, and the benefits of owning fewer healthier companion animals. Education programs also enable non-aboriginal community staff/shires/local government to better understand issues from Aboriginal perspectives
  • This project will ensure each community would have a paid Animal Management Worker or Environmental Health Worker dedicated to animal management
  • Given the culturally complex nature of dog control it is important that a representative from the community be responsible for the management of parasite control programs and education programs in between and alongside veterinary services provided.

To be updated after the National G2Z Summit Legislation Presentations

Current legislation relevant to G2Z

Quick Check

Please note: For remote communities these strategies will be impractical . However some of these strategies may be suitable for urban areas. 

Compulsory Desexing prior to sale or transfer

Compulsory Microchipping prior to sale or transfer

Legislation which supports responsible rehoming

Breeder Permit System with Compulsory Breeder Code of Practice

Pet Shop Permit System with compulsory Pet Shop Code of Practice

State-wide pound and shelter data reporting

Responsibly managed dog colonies

Working towards National Consistency