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Doggie don't-don'tDoggie don't-don't

Poop n’ scoop goes hi-tech

Jerusalem to use DNA-matching to track down owners who do not clean up after their pets

Jerusalem hopes to ensure that after dogs enjoy the park, people can too (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Jerusalem hopes to ensure that after dogs enjoy the park, people can too (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Jerusalem municipality is to aggressively fight the widespread problem of dog doo in public parks and sidewalks via the revolutionary use of hi-tech. The capital city is to build a database of canine DNA in order to find — and fine — dog owners who neglect to clean up their pooch’s poop.

In the coming months Jerusalem will launch a pilot program to build the doggie DNA database with the help of the city’s veterinarians. Dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets risk being fined NIS 400 (almost $100) if the city’s inspectors find a positive match between their dog’s droppings and the registered DNA.

Remarkably, the idea behind this program is not new to Israel. In 2008, a similar program was tested in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva. There, the DNA was used both as the proverbial carrot and the stick.

The DNA helped the municipality find those who did not clean up their dog’s mess, but it was also used to identify those who did in fact deposit the feces into specially placed receptacles in the city. The samples placed in the receptacles was also checked and the owners of those dogs were rewarded for their efforts, for example with a free bag of dog food.

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