Three months ago the Valencian town of Xàtiva (pop 35,000) decided to take a stand against the chronic dog fouling situation affecting it's pavements and open spaces.
Xàtiva town hall started a program of genetic census of dogs. This census obliged, by municipal order (similar to Public Space Protection Orders) the owner of every dog to submit their dog for DNA registration, at no cost.
Once identified genetically each dog is then added to a database. In the event that offending dog mess is left on a public highway and the deposits have the same DNA, the system flags up the owner.
If the sample brings no results, that would mean the owner has not obeyed the municipal order and so if he or she gets caught subsequently with an unregistered dog a fine of 400 € would be imposed.
Each DNA match process costs 15 €, which is paid, as well as the fine, by the owner.
The locals say they have noticed the difference and it now a pleasure to take a stroll. The program has reduced deposits left on public highways by 80% - pleasing citizens, town hall officials and local police alike.
Local news coverage (in Spanish)