South Dublin Council supports idea of DNA testing of dog poo to track owners
Audio warnings set for rollout in eight new locations across the city
April 28 2021 02:00 PM
South Dublin County Council has backed DNA testing of dog poo, saying it will “examine the recommendations” to stamp out the nuisance.
Leitrim County Council this week announced plans for animal wardens to test dog poo for DNA, to trace pet owners in areas where the problem is at its worst.
It will be matched with saliva samples and owners will be asked for their cooperation.
Dog owners can be issued with a notice under the Animal Health and Welfare Act, to compel them to participate. Failure to comply could result in a fine or prosecution.
A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council said while there are no similar plans in place, it “is supportive of the pilot project in Leitrim”.
“SDCC will examine the recommendations from the pilot to conduct DNA testing of dog excrement,” it added.
The council explained it had carried out dog fouling surveys in four parks across south Dublin and found a “relatively low” impact when the overall number of visitors is taken into account.
“In order to deter dog fouling in those areas, audio devices have recently been installed,” a council spokesperson said. “These audio devices are programmable and motion activated to announce an anti dog-fouling message.
“A follow-up survey will be conducted to ascertain if the audio devices have been effective and if wider deployment would be beneficial. SDCC has continued to raise awareness of the issue and has mounted a number of campaigns on radio, newspapers and on social media in that regard.”
The council has increased signage in parks and rolled out a Green Dog Walkers Programme, where volunteers use a “non-confrontational, friendly way to change people’s attitudes about dog fouling”.
Volunteers are provided with an armband and bone shaped bag dispenser and they are tasked to be on hand to remind dog owners to clean up and offer waste bags if needed. The public can apply to volunteer at www.socialcredits.ie.
Meanwhile, Dublin City Council plans to roll out new audio systems next week to remind people to clean up their dog’s mess.
The audio systems are also motion triggered and include messages such as: “We hope you enjoy your walk today. If you are walking your dog please pick up afterwards and bag it and bin it in the nearest public litter bin or bring it home and put in your household bin.”
The audio systems will be located at Gaelscoil Barra, Fassaugh Avenue, Cabra; on the Navan Road close to the school at the Deaf Village; at the entrance to Eamonn Ceannt Park on Rutland Grove, Dublin 12; at the entrance to the Dodder Walk on Orwell Bridge, Dublin 6; Weaver Park, Cork Street; Marrowbone Lane, Dublin 8 and on Clontarf and Sandymount promenades.
Fingal County Council said the “viability of a dog DNA database” for Fingal was “raised and considered previously”. However, the “use of such a database was rejected due to the lack of technical expertise in this area”.
The council has already rolled out audio devices in multiple locations.
Fred says: But what about bins? These have been removed … over the years. The excuse used was people not wanting to pay for bins at their homes and in the dark of night stuffing the bin refuge into bins in the City. The solution was remove the bins.