A French town is creating its own DNA database so it can crack down on owners who don’t clear up after their dogs.
Robert Menard, mayor of Beziers, a town in the south of France, has introduced a scheme in which all dog owners will be forced to submit a sample of their pet’s DNA. The information will then be put into a database and used to identify the culprits when faeces are discovered on the town’s pavements, roads and parks.
When dog poo is found by officials, a sample will be taken so it can be used in a DNA test. Laboratory staff will then try to match the DNA from the sample to the data on dogs living in Beziers.
If a match is found then the owner of the dog will receive an automatic £32 fine. It is hoped the move will encourage dog owners to clear up after their animals.
Mr Menard, who is supported by the far-right political group the National Front, said: “’This is a common sense measure. Local residents are in favour of the idea, because it will make the town cleaner and save money.”
Scheme has been criticised
But he has attracted criticism for the initiative which is viewed by some as being an over-the-top response to dog fouling.
Christian Pouget, the deputy prefect of Beziers, told The Local: “’The moment you make dog owners declare in a file that they’re just taking their pet for a walk then it becomes disproportionate. And just because you’re taking a dog for a walk doesn’t mean you’re not respecting health rules.”
DNA databases are often seen as a controversial issue and a potential invasion of privacy. However, some argue that they could help reduce crime and make it easier for police to track down offenders using forensic evidence.
In the UK, there is a database of DNA taken from people who are suspected of crimes but their data is deleted if they are later released without charge or found not guilty.
As well as using DNA testing to track down offenders, tests can also be used to establish family relationships. AlphaBiolabs offers easy, convenient, accurate and affordable DNA testing which can identify whether someone is a biological relation.
Paternity testing is the most common form of this type of DNA test and is used to find out if someone is the biological father of a child where there are doubts or uncertainty over parentage.