The non-profit foundation Bündnis Mensch & Tier promotes a sustainable improvement of the human-animal relationship based on a species-adequate care, handling and housing as well as an animal friendly and respectful approach to the individual animal.
Based on personal experience and scientific results much is known about the diverse talents and requirements of animals. The implementation of this knowledge facilitates a respectful and responsible interaction with the individual animal and establishes close bonds between humans and non-human animals.
The Foundation Bündnis Mensch & Tier pursues the following objectives:
In order to promote human-animal relationship in science and research, a high-level and interdisciplinary scientific dialog is supported by the foundation. We mainly focus on fundamental research and the integration of human-animal relationship in scientific teaching.
Interdisciplinary joint working groups:
Several interdisciplinary joint working groups were established either directly by or in close cooperation with the foundation.
The group consists of recognized scientists in the field of natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities (such as agricultural science, biology, history, literature, performing arts, philosophy, psychology, theology and veterinary medicine e.g.). Members are actively engaged in the promotion of the relationship between human and non-human animals in research and science.
Starting in 2009, a group of practicing and official veterinarians, biologist and practitioners in the field of Animal-Assisted Intervention collaborate with members of the working group "Nutzung von Tieren im sozialen Einsatz" of the Veterinary Association for Animal Protection (Tierärztliche Vereinigung für Tierschutz e. V.).
The group not only compiles professional information but also issued various data sheets regarding care, handling and housing of species commonly used as working animals in animal-assisted, social activities. Furthermore, the group promotes high quality standards in the field of veterinary care and inspections of animal welfare (according to the species standards) of domestic and farm animals used in social activities.
Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI) include therapeutic, educational or recreational activities, in which an animal is intentionally included or incorporated. Employing animals in AAI activities needs to comply with an animal-friendly as well as a humane and respectful setting, but are also based on specific animal welfare requirements. This calls for highly qualified AAI practitioners.
The goal of the interdisciplinary working group is to provide information regarding the improvement of highly qualified work in the AAI field. Target-group specific information is comprised by members of the group and made available via publications and presentations.
Please note the following position paper of the foundation and numerous representatives of various disciplines: "Animal-Assisted Interventions: Animal Care and Participation Guidelines" - now available in English.
Junior scientists working in the field of relationship between human and non-human animals are welcome to contact the foundation for support. We are happy to initiate/mediate contact between our cooperating scientists and professionals and the enquirer. In addition, the foundation organizes once a year an interdisciplinary PhD/ PostDoc-workshop (mostly German-speaking) as an outstanding opportunity for Junior Scientists to present their scientific work and to refine their network.
The foundation establishes a network of professional scientists and practitioners in the field of relationship between human and non-human animals providing a wide range of information on the homepage of the foundation (mainly in German): starting from target-group specific publications up to information about more general questions as "What are the total costs of keeping a pet?"
In addition, a team of practitioners in the field of human-animal contact and Animal-Assisted Intervention offers sophisticated consulting regarding species-adequate housing and training, possibilities in human-animal contact, answers to specific questions in human-animal communication, support in planning and establishing animal-assisted projects, handling and housing of farm animals, etc.
The foundation Stiftung Bündnis Mensch & Tier established a network of qualified Begegnungshöfe, in essence agricultural farms where opportunities for human-animal contact are provided (e.g. as certified Animal-Assisted Activities).
The Netzwerk Begegnungshöfe promotes autonomously managed farms throughout Germany and Austria in their work to provide opportunities for human-animal contact on bases of high quality standards.
Members of the network act in compliance with animal welfare standards (according to the species demands) as well as an animal-friendly and respectful handling of animals.
Members are expected to continuously improve their qualifications in various sectors, for example by external certification (e.g. Sachkundenachweis) regarding standards and specific animal species as well as credentials in specified training programs.