Almería city council has approved a by-law authorising fines of between €120 and €750 for owners of pets who foul public spaces. The measure is accompanied by a large advertising campaign which aims to educate pet owners upon their “civic responsibilities”.
But opposition parties have criticised the move by the PP controlled council, which they say is irresponsible.
Councillor Inés Plaza (PSOE) said: “I fear the council has abandoned any attempts to bring in a by-law regulating pet ownership in the city, which was a logical first step before introducing this foul law.”
The PSOE claim to have been waiting since the summer for the pet ownership law to be tabled to an all-party committee, only to be suddenly presented with the fouling law. They fear the controversial ownership law will now never be passed.
Sra Plaza explained: “There is no law stipulating where animals can and cannot roam in the city, nor barring people from feeding wild animals, nor controlling wild animals. We have no issue with bad pet owners being fined but citizens deserve a clear legal framework within which to live.”
Public services councillor Juanjo Alonso (PP) is in charge of enacting the new measure. He said: “More people than ever are cleaning up after their pets and we intend to go after those who refuse to understand the need. On the one hand we will educate them, and on the other we will go after repeat offenders.”
A street advertising campaign entitled “¿Por que no lo recoges?” (Why don’t you pick it up) will be backed up with a social media campaign around the website www.limpiatrastumascota.es and special educational days at local schools.
Sr Alonso explained: “We want to teach everyone of the dangers of allowing pets to crap in the street, and so we will be out there interacting with pet owners of all ages. Excrement in the street is the number one complaint we receive and it is disgusting, un-hygienic and unnecessary.”
The town council will be working with all schools in the city to educate school-children on how to look after their pets.