The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has issued an urgent warning for anyone thinking of setting off fireworks to celebrate the New Year tonight.
So far this year, more than 11,000 reports of animals, mainly dogs, being terrified by fireworks have been received by the RSCPA, with the charity expecting many more to be made over the next 24 hours.
Despite large public displays – such as the main one in London – being cancelled, many local displays, as well as personal ones, will still be taking place.
And it is feared that animals could suffer from them – with the charity calling on the Government to finally introduce legislation to stop this from happening.
RSPCA campaigns manager Carrie Stones 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.
“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.”
The RSPCA has also seen 14,500 people take action and email their MP, 67 councils have also requested a toolkit pulled together by the charity and five councils have put forward their own motions on restrictions.
One of many examples of dogs who have died through the shear fear of fireworks was German-Shepherd cross Zena who lived with her owner Robert Hyslop and his five other rescue dogs in Newport until November 4, this year.
A neighbour set off loud fireworks in the afternoon, leading to a nervous Zena collapsing, violently shaking and shortly after, losing her life.
Owner Robert said: “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.”
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