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City councillor wants to use poop DNA to nab lazy dog owners

A dog-doo database could help bylaw officers fine owners for not picking up after their pet

You see it all too often – Fido’s feces in the middle of a sidewalk or next to a park trail.

A city councillor in West Vancouver thinks cities should collect samples, put the DNA into a database, and hunt down owners who don’t clean up after their dogs.

Coun. Mary-Anne Booth suggested the idea in a council meeting earlier this week that left-behind dog waste could be tested and the culprit owner fined.

Booth, a dog owner herself, said testing dog’s waste isn’t as expensive as it once was and that staff should look into it.

She added it could be used to bring in extra revenue.

A strata council, she said, uses this method and tickets residents $2,000 if they disobey the rules.

Across the Lower Mainland, fines for not cleaning up after your pet range between about $100 in Langley and Chilliwack to $150 – like in West Vancouver.

In Surrey, fines begin at $75, but the amount is up to the bylaw officer’s discretion.

In 2012, Surrey considered forensic testing of dog poop.

At the time, it was estimated that costs per dog would be $30 to develop the initial DNA profile using mouth swabs.

Pursuing offenders would have cost $10 per test kit and another $80 for the actual test.

More than 350,000 dogs “produce waste” each day in the Lower Mainland, according to Metro Vancouver.

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