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International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations

The International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations (IAHAIO) was founded in 1990 to gather together national associations and related organizations interested in advancing the understanding and appreciation of the link between animals and humans.

IAHAIO’s main role is to provide a co-ordinating structure between all member countries. As worldwide interest and support for this young science increases, IAHAIO’s role as a communication link is essential to convey latest research findings and encourage further program development.

IAHAOI has established a series of International Awards to acknowledge contributions made by individuals or institutions in the study of the human-companion animal relationship. These include the IAHAIO Pets in Cities and Distinguished ScholarAwards which are presented every 3 years.

IAHAIO’s mission is to promote research, education and sharing of information about human-animal interaction and the unique role that animals play in human well-being and quality of life to:

  • Promote new research, educational & practical development in the field of human-animal interaction.
  • Provide a forum for sharing ideas & information between IAHAIO member organisations.
  • Educate policy makers at local, national & international levels about the benefits of human-animal interaction.

IAHAIO is an acronym for the InternationalAssociation of Human-Animal Interaction Organisations an international umbrella organisation for all organisations within its field. Every three years, IAHAIO arranges an international conference on the topic of human-animal interaction, allowing hundreds of world-leading scientists to present their most recent work.

IAHAIO 2007 Tokyo Declaration

Given the scientific and medical evidence proving the beneficial effects to human health and well-being arising from interactions with companion animals, given the biological and psychological evidence for the innate affinity of humans to nature, including other living beings and natural settings, members of International Association of Human-Animal Interaction (IAHAI).

Organizations unanimously approved the following resolution and guidelines for action at the IAHAIO General Assembly held on October 5, 2007 in Tokyo, Japan.

It’s a universal, natural & basic human right to benefit from the presence of animals.

Acknowledgement of this right has consequences requiring action in various spheres of legislation and regulation. IAHAIO urges all international bodies and national and local governments to:
  1. Enact housing regulations which allow the keeping of companion animals if they can be housed properly and cared for adequately, while respecting the interests of people not desiring direct contact with such animals.
  2. Promote access of specially selected and trained, healthy, and clean animals to medical care facilities to participate in animal-assisted therapy and/or animal-assisted activities;
  3. Recognize persons and animals adequately trained in and prepared for, animal-assisted therapy, animal-assisted activity and animal-assisted education.
  4. Allow the presence of companion animals in care/residential centres for people of any age, who would benefit from that presence.
  5. Promote the inclusion of companion animals in the school curricula according the “IAHAIO Rio Declaration on Pets in Schools“.