ESAAT – European Society for Animal Assisted Therapy, founded in Vienna in 2004, is the oldest and most important European umbrella organization for all associations that work animal-supported. In the course of its existence, practically all currently valid guidelines and specifications for training and deployment were created, thus ensuring the highest standards.
Any organization that offers training in animal-assisted therapy, pedagogy or support measures within the framework of ESAAT undertakes to accept the ESAAT guidelines in a binding manner.
An indispensable prerequisite for animal-assisted work is that the keeping of the animals used and the handling of them comply with the requirements of the European Convention for the Protection of Pets, as well as at least the Animal Welfare Act of the respective country. ESAAT stands for compliance with animal-friendly handling.
ESAAT strives for every person who works animal-assisted to be committed to the comprehensive welfare of the animal during animal-assisted use. The frequency, duration and intensity of the use shall be determined in such a way that the animal’s welfare is not impaired and that active use is compulsorily discontinued when the animal shows the first signs of negative stress.
Only suitable animals are used for animal therapy work. This is the aim and focus of the basic training accredited by ESAAT
What we do
Umbrella organisation for European institutions and associations
ESAAT acts as an umbrella organization for all animal-supported associations in Europe, which are willing to adopt the standards and quality requirements of ESAAT in their own program and to act accordingly.
Development + adoption of training standards
ESAAT develops and formulates standards and testing requirements in animal-assisted work in order to advocate for and disseminate uniform standards throughout Europe.
Accreditation of associations in animal-assisted work
Interested associations and institutions can have their own work profile accredited by ESAAT and are thus part of a European quality movement in animal-assisted work.
Principles of animal-assisted work
An indispensable prerequisite for animal-assisted work is that the keeping of the animals used and the handling of them comply with the requirements of the European Convention for the Protection of Pets, as well as the Animal Welfare Act of the respective country.
The animal owner is responsible for the animal welfare-compliant accommodation and care of the animal. The person who works on animal support is responsible for the comprehensive welfare of the animal during the animal-assisted use.
it shall determine the frequency, duration and intensity of use in such a way that the welfare of the animal is not adversely affected; in particular, it is obliged to interrupt the operation at the first signs of distress.