Fines for not diluting dog urine with water. | Pere Bota

An office for animal welfare is to be set up by Palma town hall. It is one of a series of measures contemplated in a revised bylaw for the keeping of pets and their welfare. Councillor for animal welfare Neus Truyol says that the current bylaw is obsolete and needs to be changed in order to reflect increased social sensibility. The revised bylaw is due to be given initial approval at next week's council meeting and is expected to be introduced before the municipal election.

One of the measures will be a limit on the number of pets per home. For apartments the limit will be three (cats, dogs or "similar"). For houses it will be five. A formal request to the town hall for more will be considered. Truyol explains that this measure is intended to reduce the cases where excessive numbers of animals have been found, which are often not well cared for.

Of other provisions, the fine for not picking up dog excrement will range from 750 to 1,500 euros, and this will be the same for not diluting urine with water. Confining pets to balconies will also be classified as a serious offence as will be their being tied by leashes on fincas. The lowest current fine of 300 euros will be as much as 750; the second lowest (serious offence) of 750 be between 750 and 1,500; the highest will have a maximum of 3,000 euros.

The most serious offences will be for animal mistreatment and "torture". The animal welfare office will oversee these new measures and will work on a policy of there being zero euthanasia except in cases of suffering and terminal illness. The office will promote adoptions and a reduction in the number of abandoned pets.