London

Dog mess DNA test to launch in Barking and Dagenham

A dog Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The dog's DNA will be matched with that on a database

Dog poo DNA tests to catch owners who fail to clean up their pet's mess are to be launched in an east London borough for the first time in the UK.

Barking and Dagenham council will fine "selfish" owners £80 in the move, which will roll out from September 2016.

DNA is collected by a quick "painless" swab, the council said, and the dog's profile is added to a registry.

Genetic information is then taken from dog mess and compared to the database. The tests are 99.9% accurate.

'A selfish few'

It will make the registering of dog's DNA compulsory from April 2016. Wardens will patrol the borough's 27 parks and open spaces and test any rogue mess.

Any dogs not registered on the database will also be flagged up at this stage.

The council will now look at current legislation and at running a pilot scheme and if successful, introduce the changes in 2016.

DNA will be registered with PooPrints UK, a service which started in the US.

Councillor Darren Rodwell said the council was the first to get "get really tough on dog mess and pet owners who do not act in a socially responsible way".

He added: "The vast majority of dog owners in Barking and Dagenham are socially responsible but unfortunately a selfish few think it's OK to not clean up after their pet.

"Dog mess not only spoils our streets - it's also a health hazard and especially to young children."

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