Tracking down pooping dog owners using dog DNA


There can be quite some dog pooh on the street in the Netherlands sometimes because the owners pay taxes and some interpret that as ‘my dog can go anywhere it wants without me having to pick it up because I pay for it.’ It could be worse, but it could always be better.

The town of Wijchen, Gelderland is considering getting some device that reads pooh DNA, finds the dog that matches it, which in turn leads to the owner getting a fine. It’s all very CSI. Would people and law makers actually allow the reading of dog pooh DNA as a basis for a fine? And then the town has to properly keep a DNA database of all the dogs. Experience teaches us that government and databases are a very bad match in general.

The bottom line is, it’s also really expensive, the boffins say.

(Link:, Photo of Pick Up Your Dog Poo by Michael Coghlan, some rights reserved)

1 Comment »

  1. Jay Vos says:

    Because the poop can get into the ground water (and in Burlington, VT – where I live – run off into Lake Champlain and its tributary brooks, streams and storm water drains), I’m amazed that the Dutch dog owner has such a lackadaisical attitude. I witnessed this when I was biking past a dog owner and his pooch in Noordwijk (also close to water and farms) on a recent visit. When my cousin from Deventer was visiting me last year, we took some dogs to our local dog park. He was surprised when I scooped the poop with the biodegradable bag available for pet owners and tossed it in one of proper receptacles there. I showed him a very visible sign which explained the effects of dog poop on the local environment and water. I think there’s a better way to educate Dutch pet owners about being good stewards of the environment, rather than spending money on expensive technological Big Brother Is Watching Your Dog programs. Thanks for the post.

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