Madrid gets tough with litterbugs

Madrid dog owners face hefty fines for not cleaning up after their pets.

Dog owners who fail to pick up their pets' droppings on the streets of Madrid face tough new penalties including fines between €750 and €1,500 or time spent cleaning the streets of the capital.

The harsh measures are part of a raft of new bylaws ushered in by the city's mayor Manuela Carmena, of the left-wing Ahora Madrid party, who was elected almost a year ago.

Dog owners caught not cleaning up after their pets have the option of converting their minimum €750 fine into cleaning the streets with community service schemes on Saturdays and Sundays between 09.00 and14.00, for a maximum of 28 hours.

The new fines are also being extended to those caught spitting, littering or washing cars in the street, while those caught urinating or defecating outdoors are liable to face fines of €1,500.

The bylaws are part of a wider plan by the city to raise awareness about the need to keep Madrid's streets clean.