Animal assisted interventions. Welfare of humans and animals?

More and more animal assisted interventions are being carried out in the Netherlands. Known interventions are the training and use of assistance dogs and for example horseback riding with disabled people, but it can concern many forms of therapy, education, coaching or other activities involving animals.

Benefit the welfare

Such interventions can benefit the welfare of those people involved, yet it is not always clear if this is truly the case. Meanwhile it is not ruled out that the deployment of animals on these interventions influences the welfare of the animals themselves. Because of this the question arises if, and in what way animals can be deployed on interventions responsibly.

There are many factors surrounding animal assisted interventions which are not yet clear enough, like the precise extent and structure of the sector, the amount of applications and their effect on human and animal. Therefore the Council on Animal Affairs has focused on this topic and has issued an advisory report about it. With this report we hope to contribute to the responsible development of the sector.