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Sunday 17 December 2017

Every dog has his DNA in 'Canine CSI'

Fiona Govan in Madrid

A Spanish town has set up a DNA database to track down owners who allow their dogs to mess in streets and parks without clearing it up.

The town council of Hernani, near San Sebastian in northern Spain, approved the introduction of a bylaw last week that will force owners to register their pet's DNA for a municipal dog census.

Under the scheme, which residents have called "Canine CSI" after the US television series 'CSI', deposits in the street will be collected and sent to laboratories at the University of the Basque Country for analysis.

Owners of dogs whose DNA matches the samples will be tracked down, and will face fines of up to €300. Those who refuse to provide DNA analysis of their dogs face similar fines.

"People should not have to suffer this filth," said Marian Beitialarrangoitia, the mayor from the separatist Basque party, ANV, who introduced the initiative. She added that the scheme would also help identify lost or abandoned dogs.

But local dog owners were furious at the proposal and set up a Facebook page in protest, arguing that it was "unfair, ineffective and very costly".

"The whole thing is absurd and will not solve the problem," said Estefanaa Morcillo, a councillor from the local opposition socialist party.

She said the problem had worsened following the council's decision to remove rubbish bins from the streets, leaving nowhere to dispose of dog mess.

"This council knows only how to make threats and punish people rather than tackle the problems of daily life," she added. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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