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  • Writer's pictureBecky Faulks

Has Italy Solved the Dog Mess Problem? Italian Province Forces Dog Owners to Provide DNA Samples

Dog poo will soon be treated as forensic evidence in Italy


A province in Italy is compiling a DNA database of all the dogs in the area in a bid to clean up their streets. In Bolzano and surrounding towns in the Dolomites region, dog owners will be required to provide a DNA sample from their dogs from late March, and those who refuse could be fined up to 1,000 euros.

Once the database is complete, cleaners and health officials will genetically test piles of poo that are left in the street in order to ‘sniff out’ irresponsible dog owners. Those found in breach of the law will be subject to up to 450 euros in fines. This development comes after hundreds of complaints from the public about improper land management, more than half of which are for dogs.

It’s an interesting idea, but will it work? A similar scheme was rolled out in parts of London in 2016, but was later amended to require dog walkers to produce a poo bag on demand. In the French town of Béziers, the scheme was previously rejected as an ‘attack on personal freedom’, but the mayor has not given up. On 12th May, 2023, a new decree was passed, and after going unopposed for two months, a trial period of two years began. It is unclear what the end result will be, but one way or another, the days of messy streets will soon be numbered.



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