Internationsl Centre for Reindeer HusbandryASsociation of World Reindeer Herderssa-sucAbout Reindeer Husbandry
EALÁT Field Work Continues in Work Package 6
Written by Philip Burgess   
Monday, 21 September 2009 16:35
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Although summer is over, EALÁT  field work is still continuing. Eli Risten Nergård and Svein Mathiesen assisted by Philip Burgess are in Arnøya this week as Nergård  continues her PhD work in Work Package 6. Nergard is looking at the biological and cultural implications related to the castration of male reindeer, a key component of the internal management of Sami reindeer husbandry. This week the EALÁT  team are guests of District 39 Árdni/Gávvir siida, on their summer pastures situated on the island of Arnoya, in the province of Troms.

At this time of year, Ardni siida, as with most of the other siidat on the coast, will be beginning their migrations to the colder, but more stable climates of the interior. Ear marking  of reindeer calves takes place at this time, alongside castration, veterinary treatments and slaughtering before the several hundred kilometre migration starts to the village of Kautokeino-Guovdageaidnu.

Nergård  and Mathiesen have also been working with  District -11T Reinøy,  also on their summer pastures on the island of Reinoya with Anders Isaksen Turi and Daniel Turi. Castrations have been performed, both contemporary and traditional, and samples of blood and testicles have been taken in both herds.  

Work will continue this week, and Nergård  will be joined by one of her supervisors, David Griffiths of the Norwegian Veterinary College who will participate with further sampling at the slaughterhouse used by Árdni/Gávvir on the adjacent island of Kågen.  

The EALÁT  team were not the only guests of the Árdni/Gávvir siida as the flagship nature programme Human Planet were also here, filming the roundup, interviewing several herders, with a focus on the swimming of reindeer across the channel. The Árdni/Gávvir siida is one of the few to still swim their reindeer as many other siida now use ships to transport their reindeer (often the distances are too far to swim). The BBC production is a blue chip BBC nature programme with high production values and this was evident in their use of a crane and crew on the beach to film the reindeer swim and an underwater camera to capture their swimming. The production is scheduled to be ready in two years time.

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