Is this dog poop DNA database legal?

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Some developments and sub-divisions are requiring potential residents to submit samples of their dog’s feces which is then sent to a lab for DNA testing. A database is kept and, when someone doesn’t pick up after their dog, that sample is taken and compared to the database to track down the offender. If the offender is fined, he or she receives a fine. If it becomes a consistent problem, the dog may be confiscated or a lien placed on the property.

It’s not illegal, but not everyone is on board with it.

Many find it too intrusive. “If dog poop is tested, what will be next,” scream some. Others say the dog shouldn’t be held accountable, since they can often be confined for hours while the owner is at work or otherwise away.

However, pooper scooper laws have long been enacted in many jurisdictions. In fact, New York City enacted the first of such laws, called the Canine Waste Law in 1978, and currently imposes fines of up to $250 for each violation. Other places, such as privately owned parks or clubs, may have their own procedure for levying fines on members who ignore their dog’s feces.

Many still ignore this, however, and don’t pick up after their dogs; in fact, some estimates show that as many as 40 percent of dog owners do not bother cleaning up their dog’s mess. This adds up to millions of tons of dog litter on a daily basis.
In addition to being a nuisance to step in, dog feces can also be a carrier of diseases and parasites, such as tapeworm, salmonella, and E. coli. While these are not necessarily an immediate danger to humans, other animals may have close contact with the poop and contract the disease themselves, which may then spread. Even disease-free poop can be a hazard, as rainwater will frequently wash it into storm drains that discharge into waterways without treatment, greatly lowering the quality of the water.

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