A councilor has effectively called for a phase-out of medium and large dogs as they claim they harm the environment.
Mark Howell claims that the carbon paw prints of dogs like German Shepards and Labradors are similar to those of SUVs.
Cllr Howell said that methane emissions from such animals are causing serious harm to the planet, Daily Star reports.
He also claimed that pets consume 20 percent of the world’s meat and fish and that demand increases pollution as it has to be transported.
While not calling for a ban on large dogs outright, he said pet owners should consider ‘minimizing’ and getting smaller dogs in the future.
He also said that animal lovers should consider sharing dogs with friends and relatives as pets in the future to reduce the number of dogs.
Mr Howell, an independent member of Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole Council, broadcast his controversial views in an online video in the wake of town hall discussions on climate change.
Councilors discussed how the local authority could achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
He said: “Pets are an elephant in the room. This is a really serious issue that politicians don’t seem ready to raise, apparently they are afraid of the backlash but it is important.
“It is estimated that globally pets consume 20 percent of the world’s meat and fish. The emissions impact of a medium-sized dog is similar to that of a Toyota Landcruiser, in fact some estimates say twice that.
“I have been criticized a lot about this, but I think it is important to say that we all take personal responsibility to reduce our carbon emissions.
“I am not saying that we should ban or eliminate dogs, but what I am saying is that people need to think carefully when their animals die, whether they should be replaced or their pets. need to reduce the size.
“Perhaps they need to share a pet, whether they need the support of their own pet or to find joy and satisfaction from other people’s animals.
“The main issue with the animals is the consumption of the methane and meat they produce and this leads to a separate issue in other parts of the world regarding the amount of pollutants and the loss of forests that are taking pace to feed domesticated animals.”
The Kennel Club described Mr Howell’s comments as ‘worrisome’.
Bill Lambert, executive of health, welfare and breeder services at The Kennel Club, said: “We are surprised at the comments made by Councilor Mark Howell about dogs and their impact on our carbon footprint.
“While dogs, as any animal, can have an impact on our environment, we must also consider the positive impact dogs have on our lives.
“As any dog owner will testify, dogs are part of our family. They provide companionship, loyalty, not to mention many positive mental and physical health benefits.
“Many medium and large sized breeds are used as assistance, assistance, medical identification and police dogs.
“An attempt to eliminate these dogs would be seriously damaging to the society in which we live.
“Dog owners, like everyone else, can look to ways to help reduce their dog’s impact on the environment. This can be done by using biodegradable poo bags to help reduce wastage of their dog’s food. This can be done by ensuring the weight of and buying non-plastic, more durable dog toys.
“The concept of ‘sharing’ a dog is very worrying. Dogs need stability and to feel safe in their environment. To share between different owners, who may have different sets of rules or commands However, they can be extremely confusing for the dog and can lead to serious behavioral issues.”
Local pool resident Graham Johnstone said: “I can’t believe I’m watching this drive up. A party set up to look after the poollights has completely lost the plot.”
Martin Holden said: “If you’re looking for a dead certified vote loser, I don’t think you could have chosen better.”
PETA Director Elijah Allen said: “Parents are serious about reducing their dog’s carbon paw print – as well as their own carbon footprint – by definitely looking at their dog’s bowls and choosing healthy and nutritious veg Need to look at your plates first. Diet today.”