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A Proposal for a Comprehensive Human-Animal Approach of Evaluation for Animal-Assisted Interventions

By H. Lerner

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Abstract

Background: An important field of human-animal interactions is animal-assisted interventions (AAIs), which refers to research on human-animal interactions in order to promote or facilitate health or education in humans. Very few studies among the rich literature on AAIs seem to include aspects of animal welfare and/or animal ethics. Also, very few studies on AAIs have a comprehensive human-animal approach that studies animals, humans, and the relations between them at the same time. This paper tries to argue for and present a possible comprehensive human-animal approach to evaluate AAIs. Methods: A combination of the species and role approach proposed by Lerner, the capability approach proposed by Nussbaum, and a modified comprehensive human-animal approach to evaluate AAIs proposed by Lerner and Silfverberg was philosophically analyzed. Results: This paper shows that the combination is the modified role and species version of the capabilities approach, and by following it one could do a comprehensive human-animal approach of an evaluation of AAIs. Conclusion: Although the aim was reached for horses and animal-assisted therapy, further work needs to be done for all species suggested in the IAHAIO (International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations) White Paper as well as for all branches of AAIs in order to establish this comprehensive human-animal approach.

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Tags
  1. Ability
  2. Animal-assisted interventions
  3. Animal-assisted therapies
  4. Animals
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Horses
  7. Humans
  8. One Health