Page last updated at 16:20 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 17:20 UK

DNA to be used in dog mess fight

Anti-dog fouling notice in Eilat
Other Israeli towns have taken a less high-tech approach to the problem

Officials in an Israeli city have come up with an innovative way of tracking dog owners who allow their pets to foul the streets - DNA analysis.

Authorities in Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv, are setting up a special DNA database of local dogs.

They will use the data to match dogs' droppings to owners - and punish those who do not clean up after their pets.

While those who keep the streets clear will be rewarded, owners who fail to scoop the poop could face fines.

"My goal is to get the residents involved and tell them that together, we can make our environment clean," Tika Bar-On, the city's chief veterinarian, told Reuters news agency.


Dr Tika Bar-On explains the process of getting the DNA

Owners were reacting positively to the six-month trial programme, she told the agency, because they wanted their streets to be clean.

At the moment providing a DNA sample was up to individual dog owners, but the city was considering making it compulsory, she added.

Failure to clear up dog mess is not confined to Petah Tikva. In the UK, some councils have resorted to using CCTV and undercover patrols to identify offenders in particular trouble spots.

Other have given away free bags to encourage owners to pick up after their dogs.

Million 'poop scoops' given away
08 Jan 08 |  England
City getting tough over dog mess
16 May 06 |  Bristol/Somerset

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