Can DNA Be Used To Bust Owners Of Dog Poop Left Behind?
Munich considers a different kind of police sweep of the city streets.
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?