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Innovative DNA scheme rids marina of dog fouling

PUBLISHED: 08:26 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 13:36 09 February 2018

Lowestoft Marina had previously been plagued by a chronic dog fouling problem. Picture: Andrew Atterwill

Lowestoft Marina had previously been plagued by a chronic dog fouling problem. Picture: Andrew Atterwill

(c) copyright citizenside.com

A popular spot for dog walking has seen an end to its pooch pooing problem after signing up to a groundbreaking new initiative.

A sign asking dog owners to clean up after their pets. Picture: Chris BishopA sign asking dog owners to clean up after their pets. Picture: Chris Bishop

Lowestoft Marina had previously been plagued by chronic dog fouling, meaning walkers had to constantly dodge smelly situations while trying to enjoy a stroll.

However, since marina manager Tony Must adopted a dog DNA registration scheme named PooPrints last year, not a single dog fouling incident has been reported.

Operated by Streetkleen, a team of environmental economists, PooPrints can be implemented by any landlord on their property. Anyone looking to walk their dog on the relevant property must then DNA register their furry friends so that any waste can be identified on the PooPrints database.

Streetkleen have now heralded Lowestoft Marina as being home to the most successful dog DNA registration scheme in the UK, an achievement that the company sees as hugely encouraging.

“Lowestoft Marina came to us and said they had an ongoing problem with irresponsible dog ownership,” said Streetkleen’s Gary Downie.

“PooPrints has been in place at the marina for 12 months and, in that time, there hasn’t been a single complaint. It’s a massive success which demonstrates that the programme can work.”

Anyone wishing to register their dog must obtain a DNA kit and collect a sample using a mouth swab, which can subsequently be analysed and logged by PooPrints. Any waste found by landlords can then be matched to dog profiles and culpable owners will be prosecuted.

Mr Must expressed his delight at how beneficial the introduction of PooPrints has been at Lowestoft Marina.

He said: “Dog waste in this marina has been a problem for years but, having subscribed to the scheme, it has now been eradicated.

“All dogs entering this marina must be DNA registered or their owners will be liable to pay a £200 fine; the majority of people have welcomed the scheme with open arms.”

Of course, the challenge for Streetkleen and landlords is to enforce the scheme and ensure that dog-walkers play by the rules.

“Complete compliance from dog owners is something we’re constantly striving for,” added Mr Downie.

“However, the success of PooPrints at Lowestoft Marina demonstrates an urgency to make the town an attractive place to visit.”

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