Austrian mayor takes lead with plan for DNA testing on dog poop.

There’s something rotten in the air of Baden, for generations an Austrian spa town refuge for weary Viennese.

First mentioned in Roman times, Baden’s hot springs were a favourite with Beethoven and the Austrian royal family. In 1889 the town made world headlines when crown prince Rudolf took his life at the nearby Mayerling hunting lodge in a suicide pact with his teenage mistress, Mary.

Now the town is making headlines again, this time over a whiff even more pungent than the aroma of rotten eggs that escapes from the sulphurous springs underfoot. The city’s growing dog poop epidemic has reached crisis proportions and, fearing damage to its reputation, Baden has made a modest proposal: to introduce DNA testing on all dog poop discovered on the streets and trace it back to the source.

“This contamination is not just a nuisance for the eye and noise, it also represents a hygiene risk,” reads a resolution calling for DNA tests.

Baden’s hot springs were a favourite with Beethoven and the Austrian royal family. Photograph: Getty Images

Baden’s hot springs were a favourite with Beethoven and the Austrian royal family. Photograph: Getty Images

Mayor Stefan Szirucsek tracks the growing dog poop problem back to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a local surge in pandemic puppies and a restricted dog walk radius. In addition, he suggests dogless locals on their own walks became more conscious of the problem while restricted to the same streets.

As the pandemic has cut the cost of DNA testing, Mayor Stefan Szirucsek says the time has come to turn dog do into dog don’t.

“Each sample tested would generate a cost of around €40-80, so the fine would have to be higher while remaining proportionate,” he said.

The proposal has one big catch – it requires a DNA databank of all local dogs, collected via a mouth swab either retroactively or when owners have their dog chipped.

The proposal has divided opinion in Baden but Mr Szirucsek is confident of a broad coalition of support at the upcoming town council meeting.

“I hope the opposition parties will also back addressing this problem that stinks to high heaven,” he said. “There’s little more unpleasant that stepping into some dog poop and having it stuck to your shoe.”

The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

Last-minute passport renewals restricted as delays mount.

Last-minute passport renewals restricted as delays mount.

The State Department is making it more difficult for some travelers to renew passports, temporarily not accepting last-minute bookings online. CBS News correspondent Christina Ruffini has more on the decision, which comes as pandemic restrictions ...

ABC News Update: Naomi Osaka lights Olympic torch at opening ceremony.

ABC News Update: Naomi Osaka lights Olympic torch at opening ceremony.

Plus, how the pandemic affected children’s language development, and country star Morgan Wallen speaks out in an exclusive interview.

Watch Live: House select committee on U.S. Capitol riot holds first hearing

Watch Live: House select committee on U.S. Capitol riot holds first hearing

Set a reminder to watch the first hearing by the House select committee investigating the U.S. Capitol riot on Tuesday. CBSN’s coverage will begin at 9 a.m. ET. The panel will hear testimony from several Capitol and Metropolitan police officers wh...

NFL should ditch 'draconian' new COVID policy: Raymond Arroyo.

NFL should ditch 'draconian' new COVID policy: Raymond Arroyo.

The 'Outnumbered' panel debates the NFL's new policy saying COVID outbreaks among unvaccinated players may result in forfeiting games and a loss of pay. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX Ne...

1

Hear what DeSantis blames for surge in Florida Covid-19 cases.

Hear what DeSantis blames for surge in Florida Covid-19 cases.

As coronavirus cases are on the rise in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis vows he won't impose a mask mandate. CNN's Leyla Santiago reports. #LeylaSantiago #ErinBurnettOutFront #News

Inside the making of the newest CNN Films Shorts

Inside the making of the newest CNN Films Shorts

Ahead of the premiere of two CNN Films Shorts, CNN Senior National Correspondent Sara Sidner hosts Mark Bone, director of 58 Hours: The Baby Jessica Story and Yu Gu and Arianna LaPenne, directors of Super Reviewers: Rate, Review, Repeat. The direc...