Review firework rules to protect animals from injury and distress

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Fireworks can cause serious distress to animals. They don’t only suffer psychologically, but also physically as many attempt to run away from, or hide from, the bangs. With extreme noise levels and people being able to let off fireworks any time of year, it’s difficult for those who care for animals to be able to put measures in place to protect their animals.

This is why I’m calling for an urgent review of firework regulations to further restrict their use, as a step to preventing needless animal suffering.

Around 40% of dogs are fearful of loud noises such as fireworks, meaning thousands of animals’ lives are made a misery by random fireworks, some starting in early October in the run up to Guy Fawkes night and continuing until the following January.  

Every year the RSPCA receives hundreds of calls about the terrible effect fireworks are having on animals - not just dogs and cats, but other pets, livestock and wildlife. There are also frequent reports of horses harming themselves by crashing into stable doors and over fences. These poor animals don’t understand what is causing the loud bangs and bright flashes.

The 2003 Fireworks Act and the 2004 Fireworks Regulations don’t do enough to protect animals. We urgently need a review of fireworks regulations that should consider:

  • Restricting private use (not just purchase) of fireworks to traditional dates such as November 5th, New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali. 
  • Reducing the maximum permitted decibels for private use fireworks from 120, which is above the human pain threshold, to 97.
  • Requiring all public fireworks displays to be licensed.
  • Requiring fireworks packaging to be labelled indicating the noise level, to allow consumer choice.

In January 2018, the Government set up the Office for Product Safety and Standards after two Parliamentary debates, about the negative impact of fireworks, many months on, there has been little movement on this issue.  

When it comes to fireworks, animals need protecting. Please sign my petition calling for an urgent review into firework regulations as a step to minimise distress in animals.

 



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