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DNA to chase down dogs that poop on street


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DNA to chase down dogs that poop on street

Vienna, Austria - A local Vienna politician wants to use DNA technology to chase down owners of dogs that leave their droppings on streets and sidewalks.

Manfred Juraczka, a councillor in a Vienna district, said Monday he wants the city to register all dogs' DNA so that droppings left where people walk can be tested and the owner of the guilty dog punished.

"This method offers a multitude of unbeatable advantages," Juraczka said, adding that all who fail to pick up after their dogs "must count on being caught".

Vienna's sidewalks are littered by dog droppings, and campaigns trying to persuade owners to pick up after their pets have made little difference. The city is home to almost 50 000 registered dogs, but the true number is believed to be much higher as many owners ignore the registration requirement.

Dog owners can be fined if their dogs soil sidewalks or other pedestrian areas, but tickets are rarely issued because the pet has to be caught in the act.

Under Juraczka's programme, owners of dogs found to have left droppings in the wrong places would have to pay for the costs of the DNA analysis in addition to fines of up to A$225 (about R1 300).

Dog owners in Vienna must pay dog taxes amounting to A$0,12 a day. But removing just a single dog heap costs the city A3 to A5, Juraczka said, adding that amounted an "intolerable situation".

Juraczka represents the People's Party, which is in opposition in Vienna. The party ruling the capital, the Social Democrats, dismissed the proposal in a statement, saying it would in effect create a "police state".

A local politician in the German city of Dresden in March presented a similar proposal for that city. City officials there have not yet decided whether to implement the proposal. - Sapa-AP


Published on the Web by IOL on 2005-05-23 14:35:33

© Independent Online 2005. All rights reserved.


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