Spain's northeastern city of Tarragona plans to use DNA analysis of dog droppings to track down errant owners who fail to clear up their pet's mess.
The coastal Mediterranean city will work with a local university to create a DNA database of registered dogs that could be used to identify its owner, Ivana Martinez, the city's city councillor for public spaces, told news radio Cadena Ser on Monday (local time).
Droppings found on the street or in parks can then be matched through the DNA database to a registered pet and its owner issued with a fine, she said.
"Right now, unless the police is at the scene and the right moment, it is very difficult to know who is breaching the rules," Martinez said.
Pet owners will have to cover the cost of the DNA testing in addition to paying a fine.
Martinez said the city wanted the database to be up and running "as soon as possible" but did not provide a date.
Tarragona, a city of some 135,000 people which is known for its wealth of Roman ruins including a seaside amphitheatre, has just over 2800 registered dogs, according to city hall.