Woof Justice: Calls for DNA testing of dog poop in Louth

Michelle O'Keeffe

Reporter:

Michelle O'Keeffe

Email:

michelle.okeeffe@dundalkdemocrat.ie

Woof Justice: Calls for DNA testing of dog poop in Louth

There have been calls for a dog DNA database to be set up in Louth so people who don’t clean up their pooches’ foul would have it delivered back to them along with a hefty fine.

Louth councillor Pio Smith asked the local authority to consider investigating the possibility of setting up a dog DNA database to tackle the problem of dog foul being left on streets and in parks across the county.

He said the initiative would allow dog dirt to be DNA tested and returned to the dog owner, along with a fine.

The Labour councillor, speaking at the recent Louth County Council meeting, said the scheme had been established in parts of Europe successfully and had cut down on dog foul litter by up to 90%.

Cllr Smith said: “I know we issued 506 licences recently and I am wondering if the council can consider exploring the possibility of having a database of dogs in Louth so we can do DNA testing of the dog foul and return the dirt to the dog owner along with a hefty fine.

“What we are doing at the minute simply isn’t working and we need to change the way we are doing things.

“DNA testing is done in different councils and I would suspect we would solve the problem fairly quickly.

“There are a number of councils around London, France and Spain that do it and the results have been between a 70% to 90% drop in dog fouling and the cost was very minimal so I think it is something that we should consider.

“It could also pay for itself if we built in the cost of the testing into the fine.

“I am asking the council to investigate the possibility of setting up a dog DNA database.”

Director of Environment Services Catherine Duff said she would discuss the dog DNA database with the Louth County Council’s veterinary officer to “see how that could be done or whether it could be done”.

“Obviously, this is an issue and an ongoing issue so I will certainly discuss any opportunities to tackle it”, she continued.