Clean up poo or your dog's DNA will give you away

MADRID • A Spanish municipality is launching a dog DNA database to catch owners who allow their dogs to poo on the pavements, the BBC reported.

Officials in Mislata, near Valencia in eastern Spain, say police will take samples of dog excrement collected by street cleaners to a local lab for analysis.

Owners have until Dec 31 to take their dogs to a vet so that a blood sample can be taken free of charge.

Those who fail to register their dog's DNA will face fines of €300 (S$460), the BBC said.

There are similar but more limited schemes in the US and Britain. Earlier this year, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council launched a pilot scheme in which dog droppings are collected and the DNA compared against a database of registered owners.

Mislata municipality warns owners that they face a €200 fine for not scooping up their dog's mess.

Once a dog is registered on the DNA database, the owner will get a name tag that must be worn by the dog, the BBC said.

Valencia has also introduced another method to keep the city's pavements clean: disposable cardboard tongs that allow a dog owner to remove the mess more hygienically, according to Spain's ABC news.

Last year, the Spanish city of Tarragona, south of Barcelona, also threatened to use DNA analysis of dog droppings to track down owners who did not clean up the mess.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 02, 2016, with the headline 'Clean up poo or your dog's DNA will give you away'. Print Edition | Subscribe