Facebook posts falsely claim that the World Economic Forum (WEF) has called for “the culling of millions of cats and dogs worldwide” to fight climate change. The misrepresentation is false and appears to be from a website that has previously spread misinformation. AFP found no record of such an initiative and a WEF representative said the allegation was baseless.
“The World Economic Forum is now calling for the slaughter of millions of cats and dogs around the world to reduce the carbon footprint they produce by eating meat…,” a Facebook post read on December 13. .
The post appears to show a screenshot of a Dec. 9 Rumble video by a channel called The People’s Voice, which reads, “WEF Wants To Slaughter Millions of Pet Cats and Dogs To Fight Climate Change.”
A screenshot of a Facebook post sharing the false claim, taken on December 22, 2022.
Other Facebook posts shared the same claim here and here.
The WEF, which hosts annual gatherings of world leaders in Davos, Switzerland, is a regular target of misinformation.
Some social media users seemed to believe this claim.
“What will it take to see how deranged and evil they are…?” read a comment.
“They already do. It’s just not widely known,” wrote another.
However, the claim is false.
A search of the WEF’s website, Twitter account and Facebook page found no results to support the claim that the organization called for the killing of cats and dogs.
On the WEF website, the most recent articles on the environmental impact of pets – in particular their diet – were published in 2017, 2019 and 2020.
However, none suggest the idea of ”culling” pets.
A WEF representative denied the request.
“The WEF has never made such a statement” or taken such an initiative, the spokesperson told AFP on December 13.
The request seems to come from an article from News Punch, which has previously spread misinformation, headlined, “WEF wants to cull millions of pet cats and dogs to fight climate change.”
The article states that the organization “wants to introduce an international policy that would require the majority of pet owners to euthanize their animals.”
He mocks a CNN report that allegedly suggests pet owners “starve to death in an effort to fight climate change” and an article allegedly “urging pet owners to leave their animals die to fight inflation” from Bloomberg.
In fact, CNN and Bloomberg articles on the climate and financial impact of pets include advice such as changing their diet, buying biodegradable bags for dog waste, looking for an eco-friendly litter option for cats. and reconsider expensive medical bills for pets.