The district veterinarian's office in Qaqortoq was created after the extremely harsh winter of 1966-1967, when half the adult sheep population died. Thereafter, the Danish authorities decided in 1968 to assign a veterinarian to Qaqortoq to help the Greenlandic sheep farmers.

The veterinarian's office in Qaqortoq was thus originally created primarily to serve the sheep farmers. In addition to these consulting duties provided to the sheep farmers, the veterinarian's tasks include administrating the Greenlandic government's laws on foodstuffs, conducting meat quality controls, handling legal cases, including animal protection suits, supervising the district's efforts to combat rabies and, at the same time, maintaining a clinical practice for small pets in the town of Qaqortoq and throughout South Greenland.

Consulting services for sheep farmers
The main veterinarian challenges with the sheep herds occur during the winter and the spring lambing season. During this period, the sheep are placed in stables and fed winter fodder. Typical clinical problems include listeriosis, gestation sickness, milk fever and problems in connection with lambing (dystokia). The delivery of drugs and treatment is based on a phone conference with the veterinarian, after which the sheep farmers obtain the medicine from a drug depot and administer the treatment themselves according to provided instructions.

The last sheep were imported in 1924, so Greenland has a rather isolated population of animals which has not suffered the same serious diseases that have been seen in other countries. Maedi-visna and scrapie are not found in Greenland, and antibody studies for parainfluenza, the border disease virus and mycobacteria have been negative. On the other hand, rabies is endemic among foxes in Greenland, and a few sheep have been infected with rabies after having come in contact with foxes.

Email: uumasut@nanoq.gl

Telephone: 00299 / 34 50 00 - connect to the veterinarian's office