Tel Aviv, Israel now requires dogs’ DNA to be registered in a database and will charge dog owners’ who do not clean up after their dog after their feces’ DNA is analyzed.
Tel Aviv’s city council approved a motion, on Monday, that sets up a dog DNA database, requires dog owners to register their dog’s DNA, and dog owners who are tracked down through this system will face a hefty fine if they did not pick up their dog’s feces. The council stated that dog owners will be required to submit their pets’ genetic information to authorities when receiving or renewing a dog license.
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The validity of current licenses will expire six months after the new ruling tales affect. These regulations will not apply to guide dogs or to dogs kept by animal protection organizations. “The amendment to the law was approved as part of the municipality’s persistent fight against the phenomenon of dog feces not being collected by their owners across the city,” the municipality said.
According to the city council, previously it had tried to raise fines on dog owners who did not clean up, but violations remained frequent. “The existence of a DNA database of dogs in the city will make it possible to perform samples for feces on the street, thus enforcing the law against the dog owner even after the offense has been committed, in a way that will address the main challenge in enforcing and eradicating the phenomenon,” the municipality said.
In April, the city launched a campaign on dog owners to clean up after it found there was a large increase last year in complaints to the city council over such incidents. There were 6,766 calls and inquiries made to the city hall hotline over dog feces left in public areas in 2020, according to Ynet, a major news outlet in Israel.
“The cleanliness of the public space is an integral part of the city’s appearance,” the municipality said. One in eleven Tel Aviv residents owns a dog, and it is estimated that 500 kilograms of dog feces is left in public spaces every month. Similar types of testing are being used in parts of Ireland, Utah, and Colorado. A research lab in Knoxville, Tennessee called “PooPrints” tracks waste for the communities of Colorado and Utah.
The CEO of PooPrints, Jay Retinger, spoke with Newsweek about their work done and said they’ve seen up to a 95% decrease of animal waste in communities that use PooPrint services. “Dog waste has become the hidden pandemic in communities,” Retinger said. “We’ve had a vision for safer communities backed by science since we pioneered DNA dog waste management in 2008. We’re thrilled to finally see cities around the globe adopting DNA technology that will keep their green spaces clean and citizens safe. DNA accountability is the only enforceable method to keep dog owners accountable and I fully believe we will continue to see this trend grow across the globe.”