Tennessee-based BioPet Vet Lab brings its invasive PooPrints™ DNA Pet Waste Management program overseas, as London becomes the first city in the world to introduce DNA testing to enforce dog poop laws.
In order to track owners who fail to clean up after their pets, an east London council says it will begin DNA testing dog poo. The council is looking to increase fines to £80, too.
The new rules forces owners to swab their dogs’ cheek in order to register their DNA in a database maintained by the company PooPrints.
The measure was unveiled at a dog fouling summit, called “Leading the Way.”
Local councilor Darren Rodwell told the Telegraph: “We are the first council in the country to get really tough on dog mess and pet owners who do not act in a socially responsible way. The vast majority of dog owners in Barking and Dagenham are socially responsible but unfortunately a selfish few think it’s OK to not clean up after their pet.”
“Dog mess not only spoils our streets – it’s also a health hazard and especially to young children. It’s why we are using this innovative approach in making a cleaner, healthier and better Barking and Dagenham.”
The council decided to explore the measure after finding it spent up to £2.3 million per year on cleaning up after lazy owners unwilling to get down and dirty and scooping their pooch’s poop.
If the initiative gains approval, the council could be sniffing out offenders as early as September next year.
Eric Mayer, Director of Business Development at BioPet, says that with Earth Day celebrated this week, PooPrints’ arrival in the UK highlights the company’s continuing commitment towards cleaner and greener communities worldwide.
“Our aim with PooPrints™ is to make every city cleaner, and greener, one poop pile at a time. PooPrints has resulted in a significant reduction in dog waste in over one thousand communities in the US, and we are excited to partner with Streetkleen Bio and LBBD to bring our proven DNA pet waste management program to the UK,” Mayer said.
The UK is modeling their measure after the United States, where invasive tactics isn’t new, and the technology is gaining widespread ‘poop’ularity.
PooPrints DNA Pet Waste Management made headlines in the United States as the high-tech forensic approach to ‘match the mess through DNA’ and permanently solve dog poop problems in over 1,000 communities across 45 states and Canada. As the canine population in America eclipses 80 million dogs, unscooped pet waste has become an increasing hazard, especially in storm-water runoff, not to mention a general nuisance to all. Public awareness of dog poop has increased over the last few years due to public educational campaigns and new technologies, like PooPrints.
- In 2011, an apartment complex in Nashua, New Hampshire used DNA tracking to incriminate a negligent dog owner.
- A condo complex in Orlando, Fl has started to use the method to keep their grounds free of dog presents.
- A condominium complex in Virginia requires that all new and existing renters submit their dogs to DNA testing. If owners refuse, they are not permitted to live at the complex.
- In Plano, Texas, Legacy Apartment Complexes require that dog-owning residents bring their pets in to be swabbed, free of charge, after which they’re liable to be fined $250 if their dogs’ poop is traced back to the owner.
- Earlier this month, Indiana’s Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation Department indicated they will be moving forward with PooPrints™ to keep their municipal bark parks clean and green.
According to PooPrints, DNA testing has reduced negligent poop mounds found by up to 90 percent in areas where the “technology” is in place..
Now, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham has become the first city council in Britain, and indeed the first city council in the world, to employ PooPrints exclusively. In pursuit of this effort, BioPet has partnered with Welsh biotech firm Streetkleen Bio, LTD, to launch PooPrints UK. Due to new legislation introduced in the United Kingdom, known as Public Space Protection Orders (PSPO), DNA technology could potentially be used to clamp down on errant dog poop.
UK Councils can now enforce a PSPO on any public space within its area – including public parks, cemeteries and beaches – if they believe that certain anti-social behaviours (like dog poop) could have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of residents. As such, dog owners frequenting these areas could be encouraged to have their dog’s DNA registered with PooPrints UK.
How It Works:
The process works by swabbing the cheek of a dog, the sample is then submitted to BioPet’s PooPrints laboratory in Knoxville, Tennessee.
After analysis, the dog profile is entered into a DNA World Pet Registry. Then, if a mound is found, the errant poop can be sent in and checked against the registry, tracing it to the registered dog and its owner with 99.9% accuracy.
So why all the ado over dog poo?
According to Business Wire, in the United States alone, 21 billion pounds of dog waste is generated annually, and up to 40% remains un-scooped. Just one pile of dog waste contains over 3 billion fecal coliform bacteria, includingE.coli and Salmonella. Other pathogens from pet waste (including roundworms and their eggs) can survive in the soil for several years. These pathogens pose a health hazard as they transfer to other pets who walk by, and just as shocking, transfer to humans. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), waste is one vehicle from which zoonotic diseases pass from pets to humans.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named pet waste as a non-point source pollutant, the same category as oil and toxic chemicals. The EPA placed pet waste management at the top of their guidelines for Pollution Prevention: Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations. They estimate that a 20 mile watershed can be closed from just 2 to 3 days’ worth of droppings from a 100-dog community. Clearly pet waste is no longer just a nuisance for community and city management and BioPet views PooPrints™ as the responsible answer to solving these environmental and health problems.
Recent advances in sequencing technology have helped contribute to PooPrints™ success, as DNA analysis has become an affordable solution to tackle irresponsible dog ownership. Once the program is implemented, the only additional cost is for ‘matching the mess through DNA analysis’ which indeed become a rarity, and can be recouped through fines handed back to the errant owner.
Sound a little too invasive? It is police state madness. While I understand that communities would like to keep their area free of “presents” – I think this has gone too far.
Written by Lisa Muhar
Source: The Telegraph
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