There is a wealth of research citing the benefits of Equid Assisted Interactions (EAI’s) but these are often anthropocentric and fail to include measures that capture donkey engagement behaviours during sessions. This observational bias, possibly quite common in EAI research, reinforces the assumption that animal assisted interactions are somehow enriching for the non-human animal thus welfare interests can be overlooked.
Aims and objectives
- To design a quality of engagement tool (QET) that captures engagement behaviours of both donkeys and autistic children during interaction sessions
- To identify potential enrichment or welfare measures for individual donkeys during EAI sessions.