The environmental assessor of the municipality of Bolzano is preparing for the introduction of the legally required DNA database for dogs. This year saliva and hair samples have to be submitted, penalties will be imposed from 2021.
By Thomas Vikoler
You can imagine it in a pictorial way: environmental guards from the municipality of Bozen discover dog feces on the Talfer meadows. The find is bagged and sent to a laboratory for DNA testing.
With great chances that the originator of the rubble will be identified there. The dog of Ms. X or Mister Y who failed to dispose of the faeces. A penalty of over 100 euros then flaps into the house, which also covers the costs for the DNA analysis.
This somewhat bizarre-looking scenario should already become reality in Bolzano in 2021, as the environmental department of the city council announced yesterday.
The environmental assessor is currently preparing for the introduction of the legally required DNA database for dogs. All four-legged friends registered in Bolzano will have to take the gene test later this year. A saliva or hair sample has to be given, the DNA is finally stored in a database. For comparison with the finds from the environmental guards.
The cost of the test – between 20 and 30 euros – must be borne by the dog owners. « That is logical, » said the responsible state councilor Arnold Schuler in September 2019 after the law was changed.
The state parliament had decided on the introduction of a « pet registry » through the Omnibus Act. The state administration is currently working on the implementing provisions, in which the cost issue and the exact schedule are to be regulated.
In Bozen’s town hall, however, it is assumed that the registration requirement for dogs will come into force in a few months. Afterwards, the dogs are asked to take the DNA test.
State Councilor Schuler also defended its not uncontroversial introduction by saying that it can be used to clarify whether tears or wolves were responsible for animal tears. In the former case, the animals could be identified by name.
Pile of droppings – unless they are genetically unrecognized dogs from abroad – of course as well.
The City of Bolzano will in any case become cleaner with the DNA determination, the Environmental Assessment Board is convinced. Another question is whether it is wise to launch this innovation in the election campaign for the local council elections.
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