Police have arrested a man who trained a dog to perform a Nazi salute on cue.
Markus Meechan, 28, posted a video online showing him encouraging his girlfriend’s pug Buddha to make the offensive gesture by asking him: “Buddha - do you want to gas the Jews?” and saying “sieg heil” while giggling.
The Scotsman, who lives in North Lanarkshire near Glasgow, faces hate crime charges after uploading the video - called “M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi” - which has so far accrued more than 1.1 million views.
In the first part of the video, Mr Meechan told viewers: “My girlfriend is always ranting and raving about how cute and adorable her wee dog is. So I thought I would turn him into the least cute thing I could think of, which is a Nazi.”
Defending himself on social media site Tumblr, he wrote that the upload was a “joke,” adding that he and his friends share a dark sense of humour which was on show in the video.
“The Holocaust was an awful thing,” he continued, “and should never have happened, but, we still joke about it, because in our eyes laughing about terrible things often make them easier to deal with.
“I don’t actually hate Jewish people and the video was just an insight into the darker side of my humour, a prank to annoy my girlfriend and that I did not intend for people, other than people who knew my comedy, to see the video.”
Police Scotland released a statement saying: “A 28-year-old man was arrested on Thursday April 28 in relation to the alleged publication of offensive material online under the Communications Act 2003, and a report has been submitted to the appropriate official.”
A spokeswoman for the Crown Office in Scotland said: "The accused was liberated from custody and did not appear in court. The case against him remains live and under consideration."
DI David Cockburn said: “Posting offensive material online or in any other capacity will not be tolerated and police will act swiftly to tackle hate crimes that are motivated by malice or ill-will because of faith, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability.
“This clip has been shared and viewed online, which ultimately has caused offence and hurt to many people in our community. There is no place for hate crime in Scotland and police take all reports of incidents seriously.”