New bill proposes collecting dog DNA to ensure owners pick up after them

A bill proposed by a Likud MK was approved in a preliminary reading that would require dog owners to give DNA samples, connecting owners to pet droppings.

 Illustrative image of a dog on a leash. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Illustrative image of a dog on a leash.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

The Knesset plenum approved a preliminary reading of a bill that would require dog owners to provide their dog's DNA samples to hold them accountable for not picking up after their pets on Wednesday.

If not handled properly, pet owners could face hefty fines.

According to the bill, droppings left on the street will be checked, the dog and its owner will be identified - and thus the municipality will be able to fine the owner. In addition, the bill states that the DNA sample will be taken by a veterinarian when administering the rabies vaccine.

How will the samples be used?

A genetic testing laboratory will test the samples and transfer the data to a local DNA database. The bill also proposed authorizing the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development to establish instructions both regarding the manner of using the information, the circumstances and cases in which it will be permissible to use the information.

The bill also states that the owner of a dog must report a change in residence to a veterinarian. Other recorded changes would include the transfer of the dog to another owner, as well as the death of the dog.

"Many authorities announced in the past that they would establish such a genetic database but ran into legal problems," said MK Eli Dellal who submitted the bill.

"The bill seeks to allow municipalities to standardize by-laws on the matter of excrement collection and to strengthen their ability to enforce the law. There are over half a million pet dogs registered in Israel and it is time for the phenomenon of dog owners who do not collect their dog's excrement to end, and if not, then they should pay. This kind of behavior causes harm to the city's appearance, in the quality of life of the residents and mainly constitutes a serious sanitary hazard."