New Brunswick — In order to bring the province in line with global climate change and emission reduction targets by 2023, the Gallant government announced this week that it will be tabling a bill this fall making it illegal to own more than one pet per household.
As of the last census, more than half of New Brunswick households have at least one pet. As a nation, Canada has a population of 14 million cats and dogs, or about one for every 3 human beings.
“Cat, dog, fish, horse, parakeet, whatever — we are slowly being outnumbered by our furry companions,” said New Brunswick Environment Minister Brian Kenny. “We are quite literally up to our eyeballs in doggie doo-doo. The Chinese have it right; we have to start with population control. If we can get a handle on the amount of waste involved in farming, manufacturing and transportation of pet food and products, we can reduce our carbon footprint significantly.”
Canadian dogs alone create 620,000 tonnes of waste through their doggie doors annually. And based on population, our lovable New Brunswick mutts make sidewalk deposits to the tune of 10,200 tonnes per year.
“I don’t hate animals, myself,” Kenny clarified, “but they are a significant drain on resources like land, water and fossil fuels. Not to mention the amount of pesticides and fertilizers used to grow their food. We have to look out for number one, here. I’m sorry, but if it comes down to a choice between our children and Fido, well, guess who’s getting the night-night needle?”
The proposed legislation, Bill XK9, will grandfather in all New Brunswick households with more than one pet as of Sept. 21. Provincial inspectors will be out in full force before that date, registering every pet in every home to create a provincial registry. After the aforementioned date, the penalty for housing more than one animal per domicile will hit pet-lovers where it hurts: the bank account. As a means of boosting financial contributions to municipalities, the legislation will permit cities and towns to increase the annual property tax for offenders by $1,000 per surplus pet. The increase will remain in effect until the animal “disappears.”
Kenny said that it is purely a coincidence that the new trend in urban planning is a reduction in offensive smells and sounds. His concern is not aesthetics like noise and nose pollution or stepping on inconsiderate piles in public parks, but breathable air, free of murderous methane.
“You go read that book Time to Eat the Dog? And see if you don’t look at lovable Marley differently,” said Kenny, referring to claims that a medium-sized dog creates a negative environmental impact similar to the manufacture of a Toyota Land Cruiser (plus 10,000 kilometres of driving). “I guess if our constituents don’t like it, then they can move to one of those backward-thinking provinces like British Columbia or Nova Scotia.”