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Find dirty dog owners with DNA.

Byline: Dan O'Donoghue Reporter

DOG DNA profiling should be introduced in a bid to crack down on irresponsible pet owners - a councillor has claimed.

North Heaton ward councillor Doreen Huddart made the call during a heated Newcastle City Council meeting in which members discussed the blight of dog dirt in their communities.

Coun Huddart argued, following the introduction of compulsory microchipping for dogs, DNA profiles should be put in place to help make it easier to tackle dog owners who don't clean up after their pets.

DNA profiling is a forensic technique used to identify individuals by characteristics of their genetic make-up.

Coun Huddart said: "We know that dog chipping has now been introduced, would it not make sense to introduce DNA profiling for dogs to crack down on fouling?" The technique is used in, for example, parentage testing and criminal investigations to identify a person or to place a person at a crime scene.

Fellow Liberal Democrat councillor Wendy Taylor said she had experienced a large increase in reports from residents regarding dog fouling in her Dene ward. She added: "I know that posters with eyes staring back at people have been quite effective in stopping owners from letting their dogs do this, I urge the introduction of something like that."

Coun Stephen Powers, cabinet member for policy and comes, acknowledged that dog fouling was an issue in some areas.

However, he added that introducing DNA profiling would be too costly.

He said: "To introduce something like that would be a waste of time and resources."

Since 2010 the council has had to cut PS190m from its budget and it is not yet known how much the authority will have to cut in coming years though a figure in the region of PS100m has been touted.

As part of the latest round of cuts approved in March the street cleaning budget was slashed from PS7.4m to PS916,000 - with the loss of 33 full-time employees, making it harder to keep Newcastle's streets clean.

Steps have been taken to stem the problem of dog fouling around the city with the council's launch of the 'Keep it Clean Newcastle' campaign on April 1. A council spokesman said: "We want to remind people to do their bit to look after Newcastle and not to drop litter, dump rubbish or let their dogs foul and not clean up afterwards.

And we want to encourage people not to accept this as normal behaviour either, because no one wants to live in a waste tip."


<BCoun Doreen Huddart says DNA profiling could identify dog foulers Simon Greener

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 9, 2016
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