Welcome progress has been made in the provision of donkey-assisted therapy programmes, thanks to The Donkey Sanctuary working with other organisations to unite those involved in these services.

The charity has become a federation member of Horses in Education and Therapy International AISBL (HETI) and has been accepted onto the organisation’s Human Equine Interaction Register (HEIR) as an approved practitioner of equine-assisted activities.

The HEIR Register aims to bring together all those involved in the field of human-equine interactions to ensure high-quality services are provided and to create a greater awareness of their work. It also acts as a resource for anyone wishing to find out more about equine-assisted or facilitated programmes in the UK.

Via the register, people are able to search for individuals and organisations who provide these therapies, including physical therapies, psychotherapy, education, learning and coaching, and who have demonstrated that they operate to high-quality, safe and ethical practice standards.

“This new accreditation gives our organisation a real professional footing within the human-equine interaction industry,” said Victoria Banfield, The Donkey Sanctuary’s DAT Lead in Projects and Partners. “The impact of this will allow us to enter forums and steering groups that are creating regulation and governance to standardise the equine-assisted activity industry.

“Those organisations who have been approved to be on the register have demonstrated that they have both human and equine welfare and wellbeing at the heart of what they do.”

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