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DUP’s Nathan Anderson proposes using DNA to tackle dog fouling


Dog owner putting poo bag into a bin while out for a walk

Dog owner putting poo bag into a bin while out for a walk

Dog owner putting poo bag into a bin while out for a walk

A Lisburn and Castlereagh councillor has called on the council to issue a report on the possibility of using DNA testing of dog dirt to help identify dog-fouling offenders.

DUP Councillor Nathan Anderson made the proposal at a meeting of the full council this week.

It comes after Leitrim County Council in the Republic of Ireland said it is going to introduce DNA testing in a bid to help identify owners who fail to pick up their dog’s waste.

It has been reported that samples of waste in areas with high levels of dog fouling will be taken by the Leitrim animal warden and these will then be matched with saliva samples taken from dogs in the same area.

It is understood that the local authority says that dog owners will be asked to co-operate with the warden in allowing a sample of saliva.

Speaking on Tuesday, chairman of the Environmental Services Committee Councillor Anderson said: “Leitrim Council has brought forward a pilot and I was wondering if we could have a report brought to the environmental committee to discuss the issue.

“Could we also write a letter to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs what we can do and what plans that they have to embrace DNA testing in terms of legislation.”

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However, Deputy Mayor Jenny Palmer questioned the “practicality” of DNA testing, saying it might be better if the council put their efforts in elsewhere.

“The big problem with DNA testing is how do you catch the dog and how do you match it up with the dog poo unless you’re there taking a photo?” Councillor Palmer said.

“Mid and East Antrim are carrying out a pilot scheme at the moment and they have brought in private enforcement officers to work with their officers to see if they can address dog fouling.

“That might be something that we should be looking at going forward and this might be a better way of working towards a resolution to it.”

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