According to The Guardian, authorities in Bolzano, Italy, are implementing an innovative strategy to combat the unpleasant odor of dog feces. The new rule, which goes into force this month, requires owners of the city’s estimated 45,000 dogs to register their genetic profiles in a police database.
This “poop patrol” aims to find the perpetrators of abandoned canine droppings cluttering the city streets. DNA evidence acquired from abandoned waste will be compared to the database, potentially leading to significant fines for irresponsible owners, ranging from 292 to 1,048 Euros
Still, there is a Problem with The Initiative
Despite the December 2023 deadline, barely 5,000 canines have had the necessary swabs. Critics express concerns about the expense to owners, the scheme’s efficiency in combating stray and tourist dogs, and potential privacy issues with the DNA database.
According to the Guardian, the measure has sparked controversy, particularly among dog owners who diligently clean up their pet’s waste and are now required to pay 65 euros for the test.
Furthermore, there have been concerns about how the difficult and costly endeavor will be administered, particularly if the culprits are stray animals or are owned by visitors.
“It is easier said than done,” Madeleine Rohrer of the local Greens party told Il Giornale, an Italian-language daily newspaper. “It will only be an additional expense for the municipality and for the police, who have many other things to do.”
Arnold Schuler, a provincial councillor, stated that the database was still “in the implementation phase” and that extra veterinarians had been recruited to assist with the DNA tests. “In this way, we are making it easier for everyone to have their pet registered,” he went on to say.