Stop Harmful Fireworks

Stop Harmful Fireworks

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Fireworks are harmful to pets, wildlife, the environment, and to people. I believe that the harm they cause far outweighs a few minutes entertainment, and they should be banned.

Fireworks can cause great distress to people, as they can often sound like gunfire. The noise can also aggravate a nervous condition, cause tinnitus or even deafness. Epileptics have been known to experience seizures following fireworks, and they can cause severe discomfort for asthma sufferers.

Fireworks cause an enormous amount of air pollution in only a few minutes, leaving dangerous toxins, chemicals, metal particles and smoke in the air for potentially days. Exposure to the fine particles in this air has been linked to negative health, including “coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, asthma attacks and even heart attacks”. (EPA) People at the greatest risk for these problems are older adults, young children, and those with existing heart or lung disease. (Of course Sydney’s fireworks are 100% carbon neutral, which is wonderful, but does not help with the dangers to pets and wildlife, or the potential harm caused to people.)

Fireworks are known to terrify pets and wildlife. Horses and dogs have been known to injure themselves when trying to get away, potentially damaging property and causing accidents. New Years Day is often a very busy day at animal shelters, with many scared dogs having run away from home. Horses are very scared of fireworks and in 2019 in Britain, a horse named Harry, impaled himself on a fence as he tried to escape the loud sounds.

Thousands of birds die from heart attacks or die panicking and flying into things. This was researched in the Netherlands, and an article was published in Forbes. “When a fireworks display occurs near a wild bird roost, the birds simultaneously explode into the night skies in utter panic, which can lead to huge numbers of deaths, usually because these birds either smash their skulls or break their necks as the result of flying into trees, fences, billboards, houses and other solid objects that they cannot see in the gloom and ensuing chaos. Probably the most infamous example of massive bird deaths after a fireworks display were the 5,000+ dead or dying red-winged blackbirds that rained down from the skies onto the small Arkansas town of Beebe in 2010, leading some residents to fear an impending apocalypse.”

Fireworks have been banned in Prague’s city centre, as swans were dying of heart attacks. On New Years 2021, hundreds of birds were found dead in the streets of Rome, after people illegally set off fireworks throughout the city. Bideford, a small town in England, has also banned fireworks recently, to protect the local wildlife, and I believe this is an example we should follow. It is so important to look after our wildlife, especially now, as over 3 billion animals were killed or displaced by the devastating fires last Summer.

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