Dog mess is one of the top complaints to Worthing councillors along with parking and cycling on the pavements. But how can dog mess be cleaned up?
One suggestion in recent years has been DNA testing of dogs – matching the DNA in the faeces with the guilty dog registered on a DNA database.
In Israel the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva tested a programme in 2008 where DNA was used as a carrot and a stick. The DNA didn’t only help find the guilty dogs and owners, but rewarded those who deposited faeces into specially placed receptacles with a free sample of dog food.
On a bigger scale, Jerusalem followed their example in 2012 aggressively tackling dog mess in public parks and pavements by building a database of dog DNA in order to find and fine dog owners.
In the USA apartment blocks have instituted DNA testing as a requirement to allow owners to keep dogs. Again owners are fined for dogs messing the grass and other communal areas. Serial offenders lose their right to keep a dog in their apartment.
Closer to home, in March this year, Isle of Wight Leader of the Council David Pugh suggested a dog DNA database would see an immediate cessation to the problem. Other councils have made similar proposals.
Is it a possibility for Worthing?
Is it a good idea or is it barking mad?