Pet Ownership - the EMODE system for Pet Animal Maintenance

Choosing a new pet can be an exciting time, and today potential pet owners are moving away from the traditional cats and dogs to the more exotic species that are now available.

Pet animal management is subject to varied husbandry practices and the
resulting consequences often impact negatively on animal welfare. The perceptions
held by someone who proposes to keep an animal, regarding the ease or difficulty
with which its biological needs can be provided for in captivity, are key factors in
whether that animal is acquired and how well or poorly it does.

The EMODE system (easy, moderate, difficult, extreme) has been devised by a number of vets and animal experts to help people decide whether the animal they are considering is suitable and whether they can provide the right environment and have sufficient knowledge to ensure the animal enjoys the care it needs.

The system has two fundamental components:

  • animal welfare—which considers the ‘five freedoms’ principles; and
  • public health and safety—which considers management associated with risks from disease or injury to the keeper and to others.

There are 2 tiers of assessment, first a general assessment of the animal by group and 2 a more refined assessment by breed.

The system is no definitive but is a guide and may be useful to someone who is new to pet ownership.

The Animal Welfare Act is the overreaching welfare legislation for animals in the UK and the RSPCA and animal welfare charities resources are often called upon by people who have made in ill informed decision when choosing a pet. This system may at least help alleviate the suffering of a small percentage of animals in some way. Remember too that some of the more exotic species may require Licensing under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act by the Local Authority.

If you are unsure or want any further advice please contact the Animal Welfare Team on 01264 368000.