'Restrict the private use of fireworks for animals’ sake'

Fireworks should be restricted says the RSPCA
Fireworks should be restricted says the RSPCA

The RSPCA receives hundreds of calls every year from pet owners worried about fireworks.

In 2013, we received 367 calls regarding fireworks, which has steadily risen to a peak of 501 in 2017. Over the last five years, this amounts to more than 2,000 calls.
We now wants to see the private use of fireworks restricted to certain days – November 5, New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali, as new studies show 38 per cent of dogs feel fear at loud noises including fireworks.
We would also like to see the maximum permitted noise level of fireworks for public sale reduced from 120 decibels – above the human pain threshold for noise – to 97 decibels. This is likely to further reduce the stress to animals.
A Change.org petition, set up by Julie Doorne from the FAB Firework Abatement Campaign, has already generated tens of thousands of signatures and the RSPCA is joining calls urging people to email the UK Government.
There is current legislation in place but we believe the Fireworks Act 2003 and the Fireworks regulation 2004 doesn’t go far enough.
We want to see the UK Government take advantage of the public’s feeling on this by strengthening the existing acts and restricting the use of fireworks.
To be clear, we are not calling for a restriction to public displays but it is the unexpected noise which owners cannot plan for which we want to stop.
Sadly it is not just cats and dogs and other household pets that are affected by fireworks.
Horses and farm animals can easily be frightened by loud noises and sudden flashes of bright light, which can startle them and cause them to injure themselves.
Wildlife can also be burnt alive after making their home in bonfires.
To get involved with the campaign visit: www.rspca.org.uk/fireworksaction
Eloise Shavelar
RSPCA campaign manager