By Robert Becker
When the dog leaves a heap on the side of the road when you go for a walk, some owners just look away – much to the annoyance of other walkers.
A city in southern France is taking rigorous action against this: the city administration in Béziers has had enough of dog owners who don’t clean up their animals’ droppings – in future they even want to track down the culprits using DNA analysis.
That’s why there has been a kind of ID card requirement for dogs since this week: A new regulation requires dog owners in the city center to register their animals in a DNA database. Piles lying on the pavement can then be analyzed and assigned.
The procedure, which will initially run for two years, also includes penalties:
︎ If you are out and about with your dog without a genetic ID card, you have to pay 38 euros after a grace period of three months.
▶︎ A fine of 122 euros is due for dog excrement that is not removed.
A thousand poop piles every month!
Mayor Robert Ménard complained of his heaps of suffering to the broadcaster “France Info”: “I can no longer see all the heaps,” said Ménard. “We did a count. In the city center alone we collect over 1000 pieces every month. You have to impose sanctions to make people behave properly.”
Ménard’s offer to the dog owners: The city administration will carry out a saliva test on the dogs in the center free of charge, which is necessary for the genetic ID.
In other countries, too, municipalities plagued by dog excrement have already considered a DNA analysis to identify mistresses and masters who do not take care of the legacies of their animals.
In Germany, Weilerswist in the west of Bonn announced this step last summer. The smelly heaps are a problem on streets, playgrounds and in parks. However, a legal basis would first have to be created for such an approach. As a spokeswoman for the city said, this would require an amendment to the state dog law. So far nothing has happened.