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  • The dog vs cat war appears to still be running, at least in Paris. When Chirac was elected mayor of Paris (1983) he promptly took measures to make dog owners' lives easier: special street cleaning units (called "motocrottes", dungbikes if you will) were created to scour Paris to clean up after dogs. They were bikes transporting special equipment consisting of a kind of vacuum cleaner that sprayed refrigerating liquid over dogshit and swallowed them.

    This policy continued throughout his two mandates (ie until 95) and then again when his own lapdog, Tiberi, took over until 2001. However Tiberi was beaten in 2001 by Delanoë, from the opposing left-wing party. Only a few months after coming into power, the new administration completely banned motocrottes, and replaced them with a heavy €200 fine for whoever didn't clean up after his or her dog. When asked by the council opposition that he was a bastard for putting the onus of caring about their dogs on the people that wanted to have pets, Delanoë reportedly answered "If they want to have pets, they can have cats which are much cleaner and don't cost several millions a year in cleaning to the city.".

    So the "bourgeois" vs "revolutionary" approach to cats and dogs appears to be still very present, although perhaps to the ignorance of most of the players ;-)


    -- Robin Berjon []

    • I love my dogs, but the parisian attitude to them shocked the hell out of me. You'll see dogs allowed into butchers, where the butcher will pet the dog, then serve without washing his hands (we actually saw that happen on our honeymoon).

      I would never let my dogs crap on the street and leave it there. I think the dog feaces was probably the worst thing for us about Paris (I mostly love Paris apart from that), and I'm really glad to see efforts are being made to stop it.