Animal Charities Are Urging Brits To Scrap New Year's Eve Fireworks Displays
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Animal charities are urging Brits to reconsider having private firework displays ahead of New Year's Eve, due to loud noise levels having detrimental effects on pets.
The loud noises caused by fireworks can be frightening and distressing to pets. The shock from the bangs can cause dogs and cats to injure themselves.
Pets can even become too frightened to go outside to go to the toilet and fireworks can even cause fatalities.
The problem could get worse this year with the rising number of private fireworks displays, which the charities have linked to Covid-related restrictions.
Rosie Taylor-Trigg said it can sound like a “war zone” with the number of fireworks used locally. Taylor-Trigg also said the increase in the number of private firework displays is leaving animal charities having to deal with a “crisis”.
She told the BBC: "This a big, big problem... it is becoming a real crisis.
"We are hearing even more about it because people are using fireworks at home now because of the different lockdowns.
"When people are doing displays at home, they are terrifying multiple animals - wildlife and pets - and there is also a human impact, if you are watching your beautiful animal in huge distress - self harming, biting their fur out - it is a huge issue."
Since October 2021 the RSPCA has received more than 10,000 firework complaints.
The charity said a deer died in November after becoming stuck in a fence when it was started by a firework display in Wiltshire.
Another tragedy came when German Shepherd cross Zena, who lived with her owner Robert in Hyslop in Newport on the Isle of Wight, died following a fireworks display.
She died at 3pm on 4th November after a neighbour set off loud fireworks leading to Zena collapsing and violently shaking.
Her owner Robert told the RSPCA: “I was just giving her her food when this firework went off, we weren’t expecting it so early in the day and she was terrified.
"She collapsed immediately, shaking, then within minutes she was gone. She had been absolutely fine up to this point.”
A two-year-old cat named Bobby was rushed to the vet as his bladder had become completely blocked and he was given emergency treatment. Bobby, who lives with his owner Kathryn Magee in Newcastle, suffers from feline idiopathic cystitis brought on by stress.
Kathryn said: “Poor Bobby spent the whole evening hiding absolutely terrified in my cupboard. I had all the lights on and the radio but he was so scared. I’m already dreading New Year.”
To tackle the issue the RSPCA established an online reporting page specifically for fireworks in October this year as part of their #BangOutOfOrder campaign.
With lots of large public firework displays cancelled this year, the charity fears pets will be left shaken by New Year’s Eve fireworks.
RSPCA campaigns manager Carrie Stones explained the charity would like to see a restriction in the use fireworks to “specific traditional dates” and wants people to choose low noise fireworks.
She said: “The RSPCA’s Bang out of Order campaign is calling for regulation changes to the way we use fireworks.
“We’d like to see a restriction in use to specific traditional dates - not the days and weeks either side of them - a reduction in noise levels, public fireworks displays to be licensed and private firework boxes to be labelled with noise levels so people can choose low noise fireworks.
“We know from the response to this well established campaign that the vast majority of the public are behind us on this issue - we would encourage anyone who wants to do their bit to email their MP via our website to make their feelings known.
She added: “We have seen some terribly sad stories of all kinds of animals from dogs and cats to rabbits, horses and deer left traumatised and injured by fireworks as they do not understand what is happening and in some instances their owners have no prior warning to help prepare them.
“If you are thinking of having a fireworks display please consider where you live and who is around you before going ahead.”