Norwegian experts criticise environmental study / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian experts criticise environmental study. Norwegian scientists and environmentalists are baffled by a study suggesting that large dogs pose a bigger threat to the environment than SUVs. A large dog such as an Alsatian is believed to “consume” 1.1 hectares of food-producing area annually, whilst a 4.6 litre Toyota Land Cruiser SUV uses 0.41, according to research by Robert and Brenda Vale at Victoria University in Wellington. In their book “Time to Eat the Dog”, the authors also claim a Great Dane has a carbon paw-print equalling around 0.84 hectares a year in comparison to a large car’s 0.37.

co2hostiledogs, larshaltbrekken, norwegiankennelclub, robertandbrendavale



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Norwegian experts criticise environmental study

Published on Thursday, 26th May, 2011 at 11:33 under the news category, by The Foreigner.

Norwegian scientists and environmentalists are baffled by a study suggesting that large dogs pose a bigger threat to the environment than SUVs.

Zoey, the German Shepherd Puppy
Zoey, the German Shepherd Puppy
Photo: Ryan Harvey/Flickr


A large dog such as an Alsatian is believed to “consume” 1.1 hectares of food-producing area annually, whilst a 4.6 litre Toyota Land Cruiser SUV uses 0.41, according to research by Robert and Brenda Vale at Victoria University in Wellington.

In their book “Time to Eat the Dog”, the authors also claim a Great Dane has a carbon paw-print equalling around 0.84 hectares a year in comparison to a large car’s 0.37.

Director of Norway’s Climate and Pollution Agency, Audun Rosland, is shocked by the results.

“I don’t particularly want to comment about this research, but it surprises me that the car’s figures are so low. I also think that emission levels very much depend upon what the dog eats. The statistics will be lower if it does not eat high-grade food,” he tells VG.

Robert and Brenda Vale are Professorial Research Fellows and architects who specialise in sustainable living. Mr Rosland has doubts about the study, but does admit the problem is relevant.

 “Producing food, especially meat, requires large areas. Meat production requires more land than for vegetables. Increased deforestation can have a major effect on indirect greenhouse gas emissions,” he adds.

The Vales analysed the contents of the most well known dog food brands to calculate dogs’ carbon footprint. They arrived at their conclusions about how much area is needed for meat production by calculating the annual amount of dry food and its meat content dogs consume. An average dog eats 164kg of meat and 95kg of grain a year.

To reduce emissions, they suggest changing the dog’s diet to contain more chicken and grain, choose a smaller, or even team up with friends and neighbours.

“Shared pets are the best the theatre cat or the temple dogs,” says Robert Vale.

Meanwhile, Bente-Lise Gundersen, Chairperson of Norwegian dog-owners’ organisation Norges Hunder Landsforbund, says she owns both a large dog and an SUV.

“The results are certainly not incorrect, but I think it’s a bit of a silly and unrealistic comparison. I have a larger dog because I think obedience competitions are fun, others own a dog to sit on their lap whilst they are watching TV.”

Lars Haltbrekken, head of Friends of the Earth Norway, is unsure how interesting it is to compare an SUV with a dog.

“SUVs are not off the hook, even if big dogs damage the climate more,” he says.



Published on Thursday, 26th May, 2011 at 11:33 under the news category, by The Foreigner.

This post has the following tags: co2hostiledogs, larshaltbrekken, norwegiankennelclub, robertandbrendavale.


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