Your Dog: Big Brother’s Best Friend

A parish council has proposed plans to use DNA testing on dog waste in a bid to catch owners who allow their pets to soil the pavement.

The Telegraph |

Councillors sitting on Sundridge with Ide Hill Parish Council in Kent discussed the plans after hearing a string of complaints from locals in the villages.

Villagers living in Sundridge and Ide Hill, about five miles from Sevenoaks, complained inconsiderate pet owners were “ruining the area”.

The council plans to collect DNA from waste and use it to prosecute anti-social owners.

Although never before used in the UK, DNA testing on dog mess has been used in Germany and the USA with databases being created for persistent offenders. The mess can be matched to individual dogs.

Waste is matched against samples of fur or saliva taken from dogs.

Owners must give consent for the DNA sample to be taken from their pet, but once they are on the database their behaviour can be logged for their entire lifetime.

According to council documents, the council resolved that the dog warden should visit ‘fouling hotspots’ in the villages to try and catch the offenders, as well as explore the creating a canine DNA database.

The council stated: “(This meeting) was in response to complaints from residents that some dog owners living in the parish were not picking up after their dogs.

“Notices regarding fining owners should be renewed and that the dog warden should make regular visits to the area.

“If this still remains a problem (we will look into the possibility of taking) DNA from the poo and tracing it back to the dog and its owner.”

However locals fear the plans represent a ‘Big Brother’ society.

Margaret Greenway, 54, said: “You wouldn’t expect a human being to be forced to give a DNA sample unless they were suspected of something serious.

“To expect a dog to do this for something so small is just too much. “There has been a problem with dog fouling around this area but I don’t think this is the way to solve it.”