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Cats and dogs 'not even in top 25 pets'

Monday July 18th 2016

Animal academics have released a list of what they claim to be the most suitable pets - and the results may well surprise.

The headline news is that neither cats or dogs - firm favourites of UK households up and down the country - feature in their top 25 list, with plenty of lesser-known, wild species actually displaying superior credentials.

The animal welfare experts, based in Holland at Wageningen University, created a framework and criteria from which to evaluate 90 different species of animals on their suitability as pets.

These animals ranged from domestic to wild and were assessed on everything from their biology and needs, to the danger they pose to humans and well-being when kept in captivity.

And rather than discovering that our beloved pooches and moggies are top of the tree, it was determined that the Silka deer actually lays strongest claim to being man's best friend. This unusual furry friend was closely followed in the chart by the Agile wallaby, the Tammar wallaby, the llama and the Asian palm civet.

While at face value it serves as a bit of fun, researchers hope the new framework can be used to better understand the implications of keeping wild animals in captivity.

Copyright Press Association 2016