Doggy DNA test idea on hold as fouling reports plummet

Footballers recently spoke out about having to clear dog muck off the playing fields at Cottam Hall, Poulton, before they play
Footballers recently spoke out about having to clear dog muck off the playing fields at Cottam Hall, Poulton, before they play
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Wyre Council has put plans to carry out DNA tests on dog poo on hold.

Councillors had been discussing the extraordinary idea to combat the problem of dog fouling, with parks boss Coun David Henderson saying the ‘very good’ idea was being taken ‘very seriously’.

But after reports of fouling fell by 23 per cent from April to August compared to last year, a council spokesman said: “We are still monitoring the outcome of the trials at Barking and Dagenham and some other authorities. However, there are no immediate plans to move forward with dog DNA testing at present.”

Under the plans, DNA would have been collected from dogs using a cheek swab which would then have been sent to a lab, with the details logged by Poo Prints UK, an animal DNA specialist based in Flintshire.

It would have allowed offending piles of poo to be tested and traced back to their owners with 99.9 per cent accuracy by one of Wyre’s five Street Scene staff, leading to an on-the-spot fine of £75.

Council officers were keeping a close eye on results from Barking and Dagenham, where fouling is said to have halved since the local authority there became the first in the UK to introduce DNA testing on dog mess.

A three-month-long pilot scheme was hailed a success and rolled out on a wider scale.

Although swabbing there was voluntary, the council has offered incentives, including free testing, to build its doggie database.