Fireworks cause great distress on animals; whether they are pets, farm animals or wildlife –they are all susceptible to the consequences. But is this a reason to ban them? According to a petition supported by the RSPCA it is. What do you think?
The RSPCA referred to a research by the University of Bristol which shows that 45 per cent of dogs are afraid of fireworks. Some of them injure themselves while others run away, facing other dangers. The same happens to cats.
But it’s not just pets who get affected by fireworks that produce loud noises, bangs, crackles, sudden flashes of light and a burning smell. Farm animals and wildlife can also suffer the consequences. Farm animals can startle and because of that, injure themselves. There have been cases of deaths because of the shock caused by the explosions and cases of wildlife being burnt alive in a bonfire inside which they were hibernating.
Plus all the trash left behind the smallest firework display –sharp plastic shards, small plastic tubes, sticks pointing out of the ground–can endanger the lives of many animals.
Considering the increase in the number of calls the RSPCA has received from concerned pet owners, they decided to start a petition to control the situation. They say:
“We call for fireworks use by the general public to be permitted on traditional celebration dates only (…) Current regulations are outdated and largely ineffective and we are calling for the improved regulation of fireworks use in the UK. The main need is to restrict fireworks use by the general public to the traditional dates around the Guy Fawkes, New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year celebrations.”
They are not intending to ban completely the use of fireworks, but to limit it since it is getting out of control: fireworks season last from October till January and there is no way of knowing when to expect them. At least knowing this could help owners take the necessary measures to keep their pets safe.
The petition (signed by 104,038 people) will be debated in Parliament on June 6, although the government already responded:
“We are aware that fireworks can cause distress to animals. Restrictions on the general public’s use of fireworks and permitted noise levels, already exist and we have no plans to extend them.”
Whatever the resolution is, there are some simple things you could do to keep your pet safe during fireworks:
- Walk your dog during daylight hours and keep dogs or cats inside during the night.
- Close your curtains and play some music or turn on the TV to mask the noise.
- Make sure your dog or cat has a place to hide and is always kept in a secure environment from which they cannot escape if there is a sudden noise
- Comfort your pet if it helps them relax but give them space if it stresses them more
- NEVER punish them for reacting to their fear, you can make the situation worst. If they need to bark, whine, meow, howl, pant, etc… let them do it
In this link you can read more tips for keeping your pet safe during fireworks.
What do you think about this matter? Should fireworks be banned? What is your pet’s experience with them? Share it with us!