New website launched. Don’t buy-in to pet suffering this Xmas

Don’t buy-in to pet suffering this Xmas. Know the EMODE Pet Score

The Animal Protection Agency (APA) is advising any parent whose child is pining for a pet this Christmas to check out a new website called ‘EMODE Pet Score’ and then consider a cuddly toy version instead! EMODE Pet Score - the ‘first step in responsible pet ownership’ – is quick and easy to use and offers a clear and reliable indication of how challenging an animal is to keep. (Stuffed toys are far cheaper, easier, safer and don’t suffer in captivity!)

APA urges anyone who’d still like a new addition to the family to wait until after Christmas – a period when households can be very noisy, busy and stressful. Then, when you know the EMODE Pet Score, visit a rescue centre!

Along with puppies and kittens, other animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs become caught- up in the initial excitement of owning a pet, only to soon find themselves isolated and trapped in hutches and small garden runs. For exotic species, the situation isarguably even worse, as around 90% of pet fishes and 75% of pet reptiles do not survive their first year in the home.

Many animals, especially exotics are mis-marketed as ‘easy to keep’. Reliable information is hard to find and the true costs of keeping any pet, in terms of space, time, and money are often overlooked. Now, a simple, user-friendly system - developed by 18 biologists and veterinarians - is available online to quickly check how easy or difficult any animal may be to keep. EMODE (‘Easy, Moderate, Difficult or Extreme’) Pet Score is free to use by anyone to check whether a particular animal is really suitable for them. Available at:

Says Peter Egan, Actor and Animal Advocate: "Please never buy an animal as a gift for anyone...always research the species thoroughly and see if you can provide the animal with the precise conditions it needs to live happily in its new environment. The new EMODE Pet Score system is an excellent guide that I thoroughly recommend. Pets are not toys - they are friends and we are their guardians."

Says Elaine Toland, biologist and Director of the Animal Protection Agency (APA): “Never buy a pet as a present – animals deserve more respect. Taking on any animal as a pet is a major undertaking and should require a lot thought and research beforehand. The EMODE Pet Score website is a very good place to start.”

Says Clifford Warwick, biologist and medical scientist, and leading team developer of the EMODE system: “Since the modern era of, especially exotic, pet keeping emerged it has increasingly gotten out of control leading to major harms in animal welfare, species conservation, global ecologies, and public health and safety. At the root of all these concerns resides ill-informed pet acquisition. EMODE Pet Score is designed to help people make better decisions about pet acquisitions.”

Animal Protection Agency, Werks Central, 15-17 Middle Street, Brighton, BN11AL email: phone: 07497 527226

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