A DNA database for dogs should be used to combat the problem of fouling in Bournemouth, says a councillor.

Cllr Chris Wakefield, inset, ward councillor for Boscombe West, raised the issue of dog mess at the full council meeting on Tuesday evening, claiming the excrement of dogs could be analysed by investigators and matched to a central DNA database.

Similar schemes introduced throughout Europe and the USA have seen a reduction in dog fouling – and Cllr Wakefield said Bournemouth could reap the same benefits.

“There are a number of irresponsible dog owners who do not clean up , resulting in dog mess on pavements, green spaces and beaches,” he added.

“Could we not consider, as a local bylaw, that all dogs in Bournemouth register with the local authority and have a DNA sample taken?

“The reason being, the DNA sample could then be taken from poo matched with the offending animal – and the owner dealt with accordingly.”

However, although sympathetic, the idea failed to win the backing of the council’s cabinet member for planning and environment, David Smith.

Cllr Smith said he had heard about a town in the USA where such a scheme had proved effective.

“But that was talking about a small gated community in America and we are talking about a large one,” he added. “The suggestion of a bylaw and DNA sampling is an interesting idea but one I do not believe I can support.

“It will be an extremely expensive exercise and with the council’s limited resources and manpower I do not feel this is a feasible option at this time. I believe the council will be far better off continuing the policy of trying to encourage dog owners to be responsible when exercising their dogs.”