IAHAIO Symposium 2018 24-26 October 2018,
Friendship Sport Center, Amsterdam

One Health in AAI: Current trends and future collaborations in research and practice


We were delighted to co-host a symposium with IAHAIO member organisation, AAIZOO, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 24-26 October 2018.  This symposium brought together researchers and practitioners working in AAI and provided wonderful opportunities to visit AAI programmes and discuss and debate the current issues in creating One Health in AAI in terms of both research and practice. Over 120 delegates from all around the world participated in the event, which included 3 keynote international speakers, flash poster presentations, workshops and visits to AAI programmes at the Friendship Center and in and around Amsterdam.

CEVA, one of the sponsors of the symposium, kindly compiled a short video of highlights, which can be viewed here.

The Symposium brochure gives details of the programme, all the talks, workshops, AAI visits and poster abstracts.

Keynote presentations

The keynote presentations included:

Keynote 1: Assisting the animal in animal-assisted interventions: Keys to safeguarding animal welfare, by Zenithson Ng

Keynote 2: Theory and research methods in animal-assisted interventions, by Steffi van der Steen

Keynote 3: Quality standards in animal-assisted interventions, by Karin Hediger

Poster presentations

The poster presenters were given the opportunity to give 5-minute oral ‘flash’ presentations which was very well received by the symposium delegates. The joint best posters, as voted by delegates, were judged to be

The Pet Effect in Real Life: an experience sampling study in pet owners, presented by Dr Mayke Janssens , Open University of the Netherlands, and

Super Dogs and the Power of Play vs Abuse: Eco-systemic canine-assisted play therapy with survivors of inter-personal trauma: Overcoming abuse and crime, presented by Abdiel Rubio of Mexico.

Other posters presented included:

DigItal Pet  an IT-tool developed by Italian authorities for the governance of animal-assisted interventions, presented by Laura Contalbrigo

The Aptitude Assessment Test for Donkeys used in Animal-Assisted Interventions, presented by Emanuela Tropia

Regulation of the law in AAI, aspects of strength and weaknesses: the Italian situation that ‘forgets’ to regulate the preparation and the certification criteria of the dogs involved, presented by Rebecca Di Biagio

Development of a Dog-Assisted Activity Program in a Primary School to improve wellbeing and social interaction among peers, presented by Cinzia Correale

The Development of a Cognitive-Behavioural Equine Facilitated Therapy for Children and Adolescents with Anxiety, presented by Meghan Morrissey

Training professionals in Animal-Assisted Interventions: the Italian approach to ensure quality in AAI settings, presented by Laura Contalbrigo

Effects of a Dog Assisted Therapy program for adults with autism spectrum disorder: an exploratory randomized controlled trial, presented by Carolien Wijker

Integrative Zootherapy: Interventions with a Dog in Homes for Children and Adolescents, presented by Regula Falquet Fehr

Structural and management requirements for the infrastructure that host the human-animal interactions with equidae, presented by Emanuela Tropia

One Health in higher education in AAI, presented by Marije de Jong

The Hope and Recovery Pet (HARP) Program: a One Health Approach to Improving Human and Animal Well-being, presented by Janet Hoy-Gerlach

One Welfare: concerns surrounding Assistance Dogs, presented by Elizabeth Ormerod

AAI demonstrations and visits

The Nordic Schools for Therapydogs provided a wonderful handout to explain their AAI workshop on Happy dogs = Sustainable dogs

The presentation from the workshop presented by Geza Kovacs on ‘Working therapeutically with horses and adult populations’is available here.

Sponsors and travel scholarships

IAHAIO is very grateful for the support of CEVA and Nestle Purina and the Sam Foundation. We also extend our thanks to the staff at the Friendship Sports Center for their hospitality and excellent service. CEVA and Nestle Purina funded three travel scholarships. Click here to read the reflections of the participants who received travel scholarships:  Liis Teesaar., Magdalena Nawarecka and Yavuz Kutuk.