A leading dog DNA registration service has defended Councillor Andrew Combes after his suggestion to implement testing for dogs on Scilly provoked a torrent of negative comments on social media.

Poo Prints UK managing director Gary Downie described DNA registrations as “a means of establishing identification for your dog, preventing theft, aiding in lost and found situations, certifying parentage for breeders and helping stop the illegal import and trade in puppies”.


He said: “The Councillor should be applauded for suggesting ways that can improve social outcomes for the residents and visitors to Scilly.


“There is more gravitas in the threat of being fined for having an un-registered dog than there is in the statistically improbable scenario of an enforcement officer witnessing an act of dog fouling tacking place. 


“This improved enforcement mechanism would also provide an effective use of officer patrol time, whereby they had the ability to issue a fixed penalty fine for an unregistered dog, rather than wait to identify a dog fouling issue, then issue a fine. 


“It may also provide more power to follow up allegations or incoming intelligence around dog fouling from witnesses, such as neighbours.”


He went on: “Ultimately, dog DNA registration is a service that has been designed to mitigate against the social, environmental and economic impacts of dog ownership. It adds accountability and enables good dog owners to continue to be good dog owners. However, it can, when required, identify those who are not playing by rules to the detriment of other members of the public. 


“In terms of dogs visiting the islands, I would think that you could require all dogs to register and submit DNA on arrival. I suppose that's the advantage of being an island, you have more control over incoming animals.”


Downie explained that the dog DNA registration has a once-in-a-lifetime cost of £35, roughly 5p a week over the lifetime of an average dog. 


Waste sample analysis is £80, which he said should be recoverable via fixed penalty notice. However, he added that “many jurisdictions never have to spend a penny on waste sample analysis as dog owners realise they can be held accountable”.


Downie said that he is happy to talk to anyone about the subject. More information on the scheme is available at

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