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Table 2 The healthy community assessment tool: Domain - pest control and animal management

From: Development and trialling of a tool to support a systems approach to improve social determinants of health in rural and remote Australian communities: the healthy community assessment tool

  Very poor Poor Satisfactory Good Excellent
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
8.1 Domestic pets Uncontrolled breeding and large numbers of unwanted animals present. Damage to infrastructure and mess due to scavenging. Excessive noise from barking dogs. Dog faeces contaminate the environment. Regular complaints of dog bite. Community members feel unsafe walking in the community due to aggressive dogs. Animal management strategy consists of the periodic culling of domestic animals. Although in large numbers, pets are in a healthy condition and pose no threat to humans through disease or injury. Most animals are contained and few roam the community at large. Attempts made to restrict animals breeding. Complaints of dog bite infrequent. Conditions apply as for ‘satisfactory’. Animal management programs and systems are in place, e.g. registration and desexing. Community members feel they can safely walk about in the community. Conditions met as for ‘good’. In addition, a documented animal management plan is available and has been implemented. Progress towards achieving the objectives of the plan is monitored.
8.2 Livestock Livestock roam free and are able to enter public and residential spaces. Livestock are in close proximity and pose a direct or indirect risk to community members through accident and injury and spread of infection (faeces, flies). Livestock are routinely penned near houses and regularly escape and roam the community. The close presence of livestock is thought to contribute to the high number of flies in the community. Livestock are healthy and well controlled and kept a safe distance away from the community. Livestock are healthy, well managed and controlled and have designated areas well away from the community. Conditions apply as for ‘good’. There is a proactive preventative vet program in place so livestock are routinely checked to promote their good health and prevent spread of disease.
8.3 Vermin Infestations of pests and vermin are left untreated. The health of humans is directly at risks through bites and infestation. Vermin damage housing infrastructure including electrical wiring. No community vermin or pest control program in place. Problems addressed on a house by house basis only. No action is taken to reduce the breeding of vermin in the community. Community vermin and pest control program in place. Infestations of vermin are reported and addressed. Houses are ‘rat proofed’ and insect screens and other barriers against vermin are present. Conditions apply as fir ‘satisfactory’. Action is taken to reduce breeding areas in the community. A monitoring program is in place to control the number of vermin. Houses are ‘rat proofed’. Insect screens and other barriers prevent vermin entering homes. Conditions met as for ‘good’.Pest control systems readily accessible. Pest control chemicals are used and stored appropriately. Licensed pest control operators are used where appropriate. Community education programrunning to reduce numbers of vermin.