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Can DNA Be Used To Bust Owners Of Dog Poop Left Behind?

Munich considers a different kind of police sweep of the city streets.

It just won't doo
It just won't doo
Dominik Hutter

MUNICH — This is DNA testing that reaches where you might not expect.

A city of Munich proposal aims to record the genetic makeup of all Munich dogs in a single database to better find the offending owners who do not clean up after their pets.

Munich city council members of the political party "Civil Middle" are demanding a new system where authorities literally sweep the streets to collect and test samples of the dogs' dumpings in order to find the culprit via DNA analysis.

Since a dog is not a legal entity and therefore cannot be prosecuted, its owner will be forced to pay a hefty fine.

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In Munich — Photo: Rudi Riet

It is, however, still an open question as to whether this procedure would interfere with data protection acts enacted by the city. Seeing as this scenario could only work if all dogs provide a highly intimate sample of their genotype to create a database, it is a grey area regarding privacy.

It is also going to be a costly affair to create an animal police state, though Civil Middle members say that the costs will be paid for by collecting the fines off perpetrators. Some U.S. localities, as well as London and Naples, Italy, are experimenting with new ways to track down dog owners with bad sense of civics (or smell).

But what would happen if animal rights activists were to insist upon introducing the principle of equality before the law on this front? There are of course also cats and horses and other farm animals that leave the business behind — their DNA would have to be tracked accordingly. And, some even wonder, what about those humans who each autumn relieve themselves up and down Oktoberfest?

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

A Decisive Spring? How Ukraine Plans To Beat Back Putin's Coming Offensive

The next months will be decisive in the war between Moscow and Kyiv. From the forests of Polesia to Chernihiv and the Black Sea, Ukraine is looking to protect the areas that may soon be the theater of Moscow's announced offensive. Will this be the last Russian Spring?

Photo of three ​Ukrainian soldiers in trenches near Bakhmut, Ukraine

Ukrainian soldiers in trenches near Bakhmut, Ukraine

Anna Akage

Ukrainian forces are digging new fortifications and preparing battle plans along the entire frontline as spring, and a probable new Russian advance, nears.

But this may be the last spring for occupying Russian forces.

"Spring and early summer will be decisive in the war. If the great Russian offensive planned for this time fails, it will be the downfall of Russia and Putin," said Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukrainian military intelligence.

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Skinitysky added that Ukraine believes Russia is planning a new offensive in the spring or early summer. The Institute for the Study of War thinks that such an offensive is more likely to come from the occupied territories of Luhansk and Donetsk than from Belarus, as some have feared.

Still, the possibility of an attack by Belarus should not be dismissed entirely — all the more so because, in recent weeks, a flurry of MiG fighter jet activity in Belarusian airspace has prompted a number of air raid alarms throughout Ukraine.

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