Fireworks are a source of fear for many animals, including pets, and the distress caused by the loud explosions can have a serious impact, causing both physical and psychological injuries.
We need to ensure that the sale and use of fireworks adheres to a robust framework of regulation.
Currently, the sale of ‘adult’ fireworks is restricted to those over the age of 18, and can only be bought from licenced premises at certain times of the year, usually in the run-up to major events. There are also restrictions on the times when fireworks can be set off. Fireworks must not be used between 11pm and 7am except on Bonfire Night, when the cut-off is 12pm, and New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year, when the cut-off is 1am. Moreover, fireworks are not permitted to be set off in the street or other public places that are not licenced.
I fully support moves to reduce the maximum noise level of fireworks to 97db (AI). Most local authorities already use their powers as licencing authorities to apply restrictions on public displays, although I believe that information about such displays needs to be properly advertised.
As local communities, we need to try and reach a consensus on the best way to approach the use of fireworks, one that takes into account people’s right to mark days of celebration with fireworks, whilst also understanding the potential damage that can be caused to animals.