For over a year, Portimão Câmara officials have been looking for new ways to tackle the problem of dogs fouling the city’s streets. Now, politicians have launched a campaign to alert dog owners of the health issues that their pets’ ‘presents’ can cause and are to start fining dog owners who leave mess behind. The Câmara has also authorised the installation of several vending machines at local newsagents that contain special plastic bags to be used by dog owners. “This way, dog owners don’t have an excuse,” a Câmara spokesperson said.
According to João Rosa, administrator of EMARP (Portimão’s water and residue company), the machines will be initially introduced in Alvor, Mexilhoeira Grande and Figueira until the end of March, to determine if the scheme works. If it proves to be a success, EMARP will install the machines throughout Portimão. “We need the dog owners’ co-operation for this to work. And those who don’t, get fined,” he explained. The fines are substantial and can reach up to 3,656 euros, 10 times the Portuguese minimum wage.