The council plan for DNA testing on dog poo to track down lazy owners

A Melbourne council’s plan to track down lazy dog owners who refuse to scoop their dog’s poop using DNA has failed to get off the ground despite success overseas.

Moreland City Council's Lambros Tapinos initially proposed the idea to create a DNA database of the area’s pet dogs, so that dog poo found on the city’s footpaths could be traced back to the owner, where they could be fined.

The plan would require voluntary DNA samples from local pet owners taken during the microchipping process and would need specialist testing starting at around $100,000 per year according to 3AW Melbourne.

"It is something in operation in the US and in operation in London. It's something that Madrid is looking at the moment," Councillor Tapinos told ABC.

Council debates drastic plan to fine people not picking up dog's poo
The plan to catch lazy dog owners who don't pick up after their pooches would require DNA testing and cost council a reported $100,000 per year. Source: Instagram/Scallywag_the_toy/Getty

Members of the council in Melbourne’s north were set to vote on the plan on Wednesday but Councillor Tapinos withdrew the proposal at the last minute, calling the scientific approach “too visionary”.

After capturing media attention, Councillor Tapino’s doggy database idea was labelled too expensive.

“It’s an innovative idea … but it won’t work,” Councillor Oscar Yildiz told 3AW.

Councillor Yildiz said the fee for dog registration would be raised significantly to cover the cost of DNA testing if the plan was approved.

“You’d need to be charging in excess of $500 or $600 for dog registration to be able to cover that cost!,” he said.

A sign reminding pet owners to pick up after their dogs and a dog owner doing the right thing.
The doggy DNA plan was abandoned in favour of a less expensive 'awareness campaign' to remind pet owners to clean up their act. Source: Getty

Mayor Natalie Abboud said the issue was not a priority even though everyone has “stepped in it”.

"It's not that I don't care about people not taking responsibility for pet ownership, and also the threat of other people stepping in faeces. And we've all done it," Moreland Mayor Natalie Abboud told the ABC.

"I don't feel this is at the top of the list," she added.

The Herald Sun reported that residents kicked up a stink over the proposed cost and thought council could spend the money better elsewhere.

Councillor Tapinos replaced his original plan for an "awareness campaign" to remind dog owners to clean up after their pets.

The less expensive plan was quickly given the nod by Mayor Abboud.

Yahoo News Australia contacted Moreland City Council for comment.

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