DOG DIRT: Following the Spanish way

One of Rebecca Ashworth's photographs.

One of Rebecca Ashworth's photographs.

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Looking to a Spanish solution to tackle dog dirt

I read, with interest, Northumberland County Council’s latest attempt to reduce the level of dog fouling in the county.

I have just returned from an extended holiday in Spain, and offer a solution which seems to be working very well in Benidorm and producing a useful input to the council’s coffers.

All dogs in Benidorm must be registered, must be chipped and must have their DNA recorded.

This information is held by the town hall. It is also reproduced on a card, which must be carried by the dog owner when walking the dog. Failure to do so incurs a fine of, I think, 150 euro, failure to micro chip costs 100 euro.

The walking owner must also be carrying ‘poo bags’. Owners of dogs caught fouling the pavement are subject to a spot fine of 150 euro.

There is also a ‘brown brigade’ (brigada marron) which takes samples of fouling found on the streets and checks the DNA in the poo.

As all dogs have their DNA recorded, the owners can be prosecuted easily, to the tune of 1,000 euro.

Dog mess in Benidorm has been reduced by 60 per cent according to the town hall, which is now taking steps to eliminate the smell left by urinating dogs.

The brigade will hand out spray bottles – big or small depending on the size of the dog – which owners will be asked to fill with water and a few drops of bleach. They should then spray lamp-posts, bollards, trees or wherever their pets have cocked their legs.

Benidorm town hall has so far earned itself 25,000 euro.

Please can someone tell me what cats are for?