DNA test for dogs poo-dunnit.
COUNCILS want to DNA-test dog droppings, so they can track down owners who refuse to pick up after their pets and send them a fine.
The hardline approach, being trialled overseas, has won support from councillors in Sydney, North Sydney, Woollahra, Waverley and Ashfield.
Genetic Technologies, Australia's largest canine testing laboratory, wants to implement the DNA testing scheme and is preparing detailed submissions for councils.
It works like this: dogs would be given a mouth-swab while they're being microchipped at the vet and their DNA stored on a database.
Council rangers would collect droppings and send samples for testing to find a database match. Owners would then receive a fine notice for failing to clean up after their dogs.
Ashfield Councillor Nick Adams says dog droppings are an "enormous problem'' and has vowed to get the ball rolling on a feasibility study.
"I support this idea and would welcome any initiative that protects the health of my residents and helps clean up the area,'' he said.
A DNA-testing program is being trialled in Israel, with a reward system for pet-owners who scoop up their dog's mess and place it in specially marked bins.
Genetic Technologies, which also does crime-scene analysis for NSW police, has set up a DNA database for Melbourne's Port Phillip Council to solve dog attacks on residents and pets.
Testing director Ian Smith said DNA tests on dog droppings could be easily implemented in NSW at minimal cost.
"DNA profiling is getting cheaper and cheaper,'' he said. ``The program will raise public awareness of the problem and the fine revenue should offset the start-up of the program.''
New Woollahra Mayor Andrew Petrie said he'd support the strategy, provided it met certain criteria.
"If it wasn't an invasion of people's privacy and, legally, you could do it, then I'd be very interested to hear more on the matter,'' he said.
North Sydney Council, where dog-fouling penalties cost up to $550, is also getting behind the plans.
"I think it's a pretty good idea,'' Councillor Veronique Marchandeau said.
"It will happen here, as long as it's cost-effective. It's one of the many tools councils can use.''
Sydney City Labor councillor Meredith Burgmann said the idea should be considered, as did Liberal councillor Shayne Mallard.
"There is a minority of pet owners who aren't responsible and damage the reputation of all pet-owners,'' he said.
North Sydney dog-owner Alex McNee had mixed feelings: "I think it's a bit heavy-handed, but I'd rather they did that than shut down dog parks. You can't take dogs to beaches any more, so the parks are all we've got.''
In the wash up of this extraordinary gathering of Sydney councils, it is yet to be decided who will be given the task of collecting poo - sorry dog shit. I am thinking there will be few takers unless the rewards are generous.
Nothing can be more off putting than to go out at night or come home in a darkened area where you tread into this stinking effluent. Suddenly the whole car stinks when it is trod into the carpet, or worse still, this is true, our grand/children are visiting and in the darkness fail to see the mess our next door neighbours dogs ( 2 of them with a dog apiece)have left in our driveway grass verge, the children run into the house with it all over the carpet. When this happened on the second occasion, I sent both neighbours a cleaning bill for $40;00 each which they refused to pay. Eventually after much haggling the local council, screwed them with a heavy fine for several offences, however,we decided to move away from this situation and are now settled comfortably, Except for 3 cats our son has left in our care, who dig up our garden plants.
A few days before leaving our last residence, we had packed most of our worldly goods and we decided to visit friends for a few days. It was Australia day 26th Jan and promising to be hot, our neighbours had set up tables and chairs plus sun shelters in preparation for the the 'Big Pissup and barby in the back gardens'.
Let it be known I am not a vindictive person unless pushed to the limit, however on that hot Australia day opportunity knocked.
Before leaving I popped up the road and bought 30 kilos of concentrated chicken and cow manure in pellets , called 'Dynamic lifter' Which when wet will stink for two or three days.This was distributed equally in both front and back gardens about 10:am then two hoses on timers were turned on for ten minutes on leaving to visit our friends. Half an hour later I stopped in a lay by and phoned both my neighbours wishing them a Happy Australia day.