Ciro Lembo, the Mayor of Capri, has announced he will use a DNA database to identify dog owners who refuse to clean up their pets mess, in a bid to keep the beautiful Mediterranean island dirt-free.
The idea is that owners will submit their dogs details to a central database, samples of dog mess will be sent to laboratories and sophisticated DNA testing, normally reserved for more serious crimes will be used to identify the guilty parties.
Mayor Lembo is trying to protect the 1.2 sq mile rocky island with a population of just 7,305, and 1,000 resident dogs, and maintain it as the pristine island often referred to as a ‘millionaires playground’.
Capri welcomes thousands of tourists to its sunny shores every year and many rich Italians have second homes on the island with celebrity guests such as Rita Hayworth, Clark Gable and Liz Taylor all visiting the island over the years. Incidents of people slipping and falling on dog dirt, causing serious injury are on the increase, and many elderly visitors have fallen and broken bones on the blemished streets. The Italian newspaper, La Stampa has described walking along Capris narrow whitewashed alleyways as like doing a ‘slalom’.
The island that prides itself on its ‘bella figura’ or beautiful figure has many dog owners who avoid the responsibility of cleaning up their animals mess and a fine of €2,000 doesn’t seem to worry them. Mayor Lembo claims to love dogs and hates their irresponsible owners, and is desperate to maintain Capris affluent reputation and keep it as one of the top Mediterranean tourist destinations.
It is not the first time the seemingly controversial major has introduced new laws to the rocky outcrop in the stunning Bay of Naples, he has previously banned wooden clogs and the wearing of bikinis in town, and also tried to ban lawn mowers and leaf blowers being used during the peak summer season, however he had to back down on this one following protests from gardeners.
The database shouldn’t be too hard to set up as dogs are currently required by law to have blood tests for canine leishmaniasis, a disease transmitted by sandflies.