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So strong, horses, dogs and cats pollute the environment

the title of The book provokes: "it Is time to eat the dog?", in the Original English: "Time to Eat the Dog?". The two new Zealand authors Brenda and Robert Vale calculate that a dog worse environmental impact than a PW. Since this is the 2009 released book, the dog came again and again under attack. The Thesis of the ecological disaster of dog (and cat) was picked up by many media, recently in the "view" under the title: "lumpy is a bastard". In the article it says: "feeling moderately lumpy and Kitty are considered to be the cutest family members, but their ecological paw or paw print looks more like that of a large car."

that really is the case? And what about the environmental balance in other animal species? "We have noticed that there was for Pets so far, no really thorough LCA," says Niels Jungbluth, CEO of ESU-Services, a Schaffhausen-based company that has specialized in the LCA. "Now, we have investigated for some selected species."

image to enlarge

In the study, all of the relevant influences were recorded on the environmental balance sheet, including the feeding, Housing, faeces, and trips to go with the PW for a walk or to the vet and acquisitions, which are justified by the pet. The use of the ecological scarcity method, in the case of the various environmental burdens for the sake of simplicity, in a single number are combined, the environmental impact points (UBP). To illustrate this, the authors of the study compared the results of the environmental impact of a car journey.

A horse is equivalent to a car journey of 21'500 km

The: Of the considered domestic animals, horses have a result by far the worst environmental footprint. The attitude of a horse for a year, according to the calculations of Jungbluth and his Intern Jasmine Anna home the environmental impact of a 21'500-Kilometer-long journey with a typical middle-class car. This is more than twice as much as the average Swiss per year, with the car back (about 9600 km). A dog (Labrador, 29 kg in weight) pollutes the environment less, and about the same as you would per year, 3700 km with the car. The provocative book "Time to Eat the Dog" give a false picture of the Situation, says Jungbluth. In the case of a cat, 2 rabbits, 11 pet birds or 100 ornamental fish, the environmental load according to the study, a driving distance of around 1400 km per year. Generally speaking, The environmental impact increases with the Size of the pet. As large animals eat and drink more than small.

The study also shows that the type of keeping and feeding, can have a marked influence on the environmental burden of a pet. "Although it is not expected that a horse comes the case of optimally eco-friendly attitude to the level of a dog," says Anna home. "But instead of straw as bedding shavings from Switzerland used, decreases the burden on the environment, after all, almost 30 percent as compared to the Standard scenario." It is also favorable, if there are multiple people – for example, the members of a family pet to hold together and not everyone owns his own animal. This reduces the environmental impact per head.

Although meat has a poor environmental record and dogs meat to eat, their normal food not such a great burden for the environment. Because it consists mainly of by-products and slaughterhouse waste. Who luxury food put in front of his darling, however, deteriorates the environmental balance sheet, partly solid, for example, if the four-legged friend receives the biologically appropriate Rohfütterung (Barf). In the case of Barf the food consists of 75 per cent of animal matter, a large part of high-quality meat. "This diet can increase the burden on the environment of a dog almost tripled," says Jungbluth. Then the dog would actually be on the level of a PW.

A pet has benefits that are not included in the LCA

In sum, considered to be the cause of cats according to the study, the greatest environmental damage of all domestic animal species in Switzerland, because of their large number (1.6 million animals), followed by dogs (500'000 animals) and horses (73'000 animals). "Nonetheless, all of the Pets make up only a percentage of the total consumption in Switzerland's impact on the environment," says Jungbluth. "Based on the entire environmental balance of payments, the keeping of domestic animals is therefore not an important environmental factor. Mobility, food and Housing are the main issues."

What is not possible to capture a life cycle assessment, are the multitude of benefits that can offer the keeping of a pet: regular exercise in the fresh air, or a reduction of blood pressure and heart rate due to its calming effect.

Info: esu-services.ch/de/projects/Pets/ (Sunday newspaper)

Created: 30.12.2018, 15:08 PM

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