Malaga, Spain is set to become the first major city in Europe to require its entire population of dogs to register their DNA. Once the new law is introduced all 100,000 dogs in the Andalucian city will be given six month to become DNA registered via their local veterinarian. The cost to register each dog will be 35 euros (£31). After the 6 month period has passed all dog owners will be required to carry a card detailing their dogs microchip number and genetic profile. Failure to comply will result in a fine of between 110 - 130 euros (£96 - £113). Councillor for Environmental Sustainability Raul Jiminez stated " For the measure to work well it has to be accompanied by punitive elements."
Malaga is following in the footsteps of other municipalities across Spain. "We know there is a drastic reduction in canine excrement in the street." said Jimenez about its effectiveness.
The new law has received cross party support in the Commission of Environmental Sustainability and will require a green light from the General Assembly. Once agreed, the new law will be published in the Official Gazette of the Province (BOP). From that moment, dog owners will have six months to visit their veterinarian for registration.
In addition to combating the problem of canine excrement on the streets. It is hoped that the DNA registration of all dogs will lead to improvements in animal welfare. Malaga City Council have set out their ambitions to have zero dogs euthanized. In 2016, 1473 dogs entered municiple animal sancturies, of which 1,047 were delivered by their owners, 426 were collected on the streets. Last year there were 547 euthanised dogs in Malaga, 14% less than last year and 50% less since 2011.
200,000 euros have been included in the municipal budget to help cover the cost where owners do not have the economic means to pay for the DNA registration. Exemption to the rules will be made for guide dogs and police dogs.
As a results of the new law pet dogs will be able to access any type of public establishment, unless their is a prohibition on the part of the owner. Dogs however will not be permitted on any premises dedicated to the processing, storage or handling of food. Also being banned are collars which can be considered as "punishment", and the exhibition of animals for sale in store windows.
Via El Pais