Daventry District Council's dog control proposals - which include a dog DNA database - have been criticised by the UK's official kennel club.
The Kennel Club, the oldest recognised group of its type in the world, is urging dog owners in Daventry to respond to the council's consultation on its proposals to extend its Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPOs), details of which were earlier this month.
Included in the suggestions are restricting the number of dogs that can be walked at any one time, introducing a DNA scheme that would require anyone who wants to let their dog off a lead in certain hotspot areas to first have their dog registered on a DNA database and making it an offence to allow dogs to enter marked and maintained sports pitches.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club secretary, said: “The Kennel Club is firmly in favour of targeted measures to deal with irresponsible dog owners but simply does not believe that a DNA registration scheme would be effective.
"In our view it would penalise responsible dog owners in the area and make things difficult for law-abiding citizens.
"We would like to work with Daventry council to assist them in finding other, more effective methods of targeting the minority of irresponsible dog owners.”
Similar plans were suggested and trialled in Barking and Dagenham and Thanet, but according to The Kennel Club, both councils quickly dropped the idea after deeming such a scheme to be impractical, costly and having a negative impact on dogs and owners as well as visitors to the area.
The club claims one such scheme resulted in only two identifications of dog fouling and only two per cent of the local dog owning population registering during a trial period.
"The Kennel Club has long had concerns about compulsory DNA registration and believes it may be a step too far for many dog owners," a Kennel Club spokeswoman said.
"Daventry’s current PSPOs have previously been hailed a success by the council – one such measure introduced three years ago included a ‘means to pick up’ PSPO where dog walkers had to prove they had an adequate receptacle for which to pick up their dog’s poo.
"However, this was relatively cheap and quick to implement in comparison to a DNA scheme."
As a DNA scheme for dog fouling has never officially been put in to practice anywhere in the UK, the club believe there are still a lot of unknown factors for a council to consider including costs, what steps would be taken to ensure people register their correct details, and how the system will comply with the new data protection laws.
The Kennel Club, which was founded in 1873, insists it's also important that a council includes exemptions for those physically unable to pick up after their dog due to a disability.
Dog owners wanting to have their say on the proposals can complete the council’s online survey by the deadline of midnight on Tuesday, July 24.