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The headline originated on a site known for sharing misinformation and the associated story cites an article that does not support its claim.
Social media posts shared a headline that was enough to make dog lovers panic.
"Climate activists vow to slaughter millions of dogs to ‘reduce carbon pawprint,’" read the headline shared in a Dec. 1 Instagram post. The post’s caption read, "Yeah. Come and try that."
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
The NewsPunch article cites a CNN story from Sept. 27 about mitigating a pet’s carbon footprint, which refers to a 2017 study in the peer-reviewed scientific journal PLoS One that details the carbon emissions created by feeding pets. The study found that in the U.S., the carbon emissions created from feeding cats and dogs is 64 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.
CNN’s article does not suggest or mention animal slaughter as a carbon offset, nor does the study it cites. The article suggests assessing a pet’s diet, buying sustainable pet products and adopting responsibly to reduce the carbon footprint.
"But don’t panic," the CNN article says. "Bidding farewell to your best friends is not the answer."
Gregory Okin, chair of geography at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of the CNN-cited PLoS One study, called the Instagram post’s claim "ridiculous."
"I make no such claim nor do I know anyone who does," Okin said in an email interview.
Sharyn Stein, communications director at the Environmental Defense Fund, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, told The Associated Press the claim is "ludicrous."
A spokesperson for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also told the AP that "the nonprofit had heard of no environmental initiatives that would result in pets being eliminated."
An Instagram post shared a headline that read, "Climate activists vow to slaughter millions of dogs to ‘reduce carbon pawprint.’"
The headline originated on a site known for publishing false information. The article associated with the headline cites CNN, which did not refer to slaughtering dogs.
We rate this claim Pants on Fire!
Instagram, post, Dec. 1, 2022
NewsPunch, "Climate Activists Vow To Slaughter Millions of Dogs To ‘Reduce Carbon Pawprint’" Nov. 26, 2022
The Times, "Mother churns out stories for master of fake news," Jan, 29, 2017
PLoS One, "Environmental impacts of food consumption by dogs and cats," Aug, 2, 2017
Gregory Okin, email interview, Dec. 5, 2022
AP, "Calls to stem canine climate impact greatly exaggerated," Dec. 1, 2022
AAP, "Dog slaughter claim is barking mad," Nov. 29, 2022
WND, "Climate alarmists set their sights on a new target – your dog," Nov. 25, 2022
Daily Caller News Foundation, "Climate Alarmists Have Set Their Sights On A New Target —Your Dog," Nov. 25, 2022
Money Trails, "Power The Future Virginia-Based Nonprofit That Uses Communications and Social Media To Attack What It Calls "The Radical Environmental Agenda"," accessed Dec. 5, 2022
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