Nunavik plans project on dog control, health
Project would work with communities to increase dog health and community safety
Nunavik’s public health department, the Université de Québec à Montréal’s veterinary medicine department, Makivik Corp. and Nunavik communities plan to team up to tackle dog health and management problems Nunavik.
These include actions to prevent the transmission of parasites from dogs to people, control overpopulation and deal with stray dogs
“We want the dog issues to be dealt with and settled,” Kangirsuk mayor and regional councillor Mary Nassak said May 29 at the Kativik Regional Government council meeting in Kangiqsujuaq.
In her community, municipal officials decided earlier this month to kill most of the dogs in a team that was involved in a dog-biting incident.
Rabies and dog bites continue to be an ongoing concern in Nunavik, Elena Labranche, the assistant director of public health, told KRG regonal councillors.
That’s why there are plans to expand an existing project on veterinary public health and animal health in Nunavik.
This project has created a remote veterinary consultation service, studied rabies risks in Nunavik, and produced a dog care guide.
This project was separate from the ongoing effort by veterinarians from Quebec’s agriculture, fisheries and food department to vaccinate dogs and cats and teach local municipal staff to administer vaccines in their absence.
According to a presentation at the KRG meeting, between 1996 and 2007 there were 76 dog bites in the region — with six of the dogs testing positive for rabies.
The new project wants to help Nunavik communities look at their specific concerns about dogs, come up with a plan of action to deal with these concerns and then see if the plan works.
Depending on what money can be found, the project would start in the fall of 2013 with visits to interested communities.
After the presentation to the council meeting, many communities said they would be eager to participate.