YOUTUBE is refusing to remove the Scottish 'Nazi Dog' video which is the centre of a global anti-semitism storm amid claims that the arrest of its owner is "absurd".

Markus Meechan, 28, from Coatbridge, was criticised by Jewish leaders after training his girlfriend’s dog - a pug called Buddha who has since been branded 'The Munich Pooch' - to respond to the phrase “Gas the Jews" by giving a 'Seig Heil' salute.

However, the video titled "M8 Yer Dugs A Nazi" is to remain on YouTube having been uploaded on April 11, and has since been seen by over 1.5 million people.

HeraldScotland:

Police arrested Meechan, a call centre worker, who says it was a prank. Police said the arrest was in relation to the alleged publication of offensive material online and a report had been submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

Detective Inspector David Cockburn said: "I would ask anyone who has had the misfortune to have viewed it to think about the pain and hurt the narrative has caused a minority of people in our community.

"The clip is deeply offensive and no reasonable person can possibly find the content acceptable in today's society. This arrest should serve as a warning to anyone posting such material online, or in any other capacity, that such views will not be tolerated."

But YouTube will not be removing the video which has had around 1700 dislikes but nearly 26,000 likes, while a hoard of people have criticised the arrest.

A YouTube source said that while it was recognised that the many would find the video offensive, many videos on the site are, and it was a site that believed in freedom of expression.

The source said the intent of the video regardless of how ludicrous and unpleasant it is perceived was "clearly comedic".

"If we felt it was toxic hate speech, we would have taken it down."

In a commentary by Nat Hentoff, a member of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and senior fellow with the American libertarian think tank Cato Institute  and Nick Hentoff, criminal defence and civil liberties attorney in New York point to the case as an example hate speech prosecutions that are "patently absurd".

HeraldScotland:

"Every dog owner knows that if you speak in a high-pitched voice, your pet will react with as much excitement to the question, 'Do you want some bacon?' as 'Do you want to tear my throat out?'.  Which begs the question whether a satirical video that compares Nazis to a dog’s Pavlovian tendency for unthinking repetition can reasonably be regarded as offensive to anyone but Nazis.

"The man clearly states in the video that he is not a racist and his only motivation was to 'p*ss off' his girlfriend by turning her adorable little pug into a Nazi. But the thought police are rarely concerned with intent, since preventing offence is their raison d’etre. Giving offence has been the raison d’etre of satirists for centuries and their right to do so should be protected."

The controversial 1 minute 30-second clip also shows the two-year-old dog watching speeches made by Hitler from the Leni Riefenstahl directed film 'Olympia' which documented the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

At the end, the former security guard insists that he is a not a racist, but is only trying to play a joke on his girlfriend to "p*** her off".

Many comments on the video have criticised the police action.

One said: "They really arrest you for that?  Holy f... man. It's f..ing 1984."

Ryan Strange added: "You can expect 10000 people to now train their dogs, cats and parrots the same trick this guy did. Good job Scottish thought police !

Another quipped: "This man absolutely should have been arrested for a crime.. the crime of filming in portrait.."

It has triggered at least one copycat with one dog-owner uploading a video of himself training his pet to do a Nazi salute, boasting that it took him five minutes.

HeraldScotland:

The man is heard encouraging his dog to 'Sieg Heil', which is a salute performed with a straightened arm.

The video, which was posted on Wednesday, was apparently in response to Mr Meechan's video in which he trained his girlfriend's pug to do the Nazi salute and jump when it heard 'gas the Jews'.

The video appears to have been posted from the US, and the dog's owner has an American accent.

But the Scot's clip raised concerns about casual anti-semitism in Scottish society and prompting the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities to call for a zero approach to online material which targets Jews or makes light of the holocaust.

A YouTube spokeswoman would only say: "We remove flagged content when it breaks the community guidelines."