As November approaches, the Scottish SPCA is issuing their annual warning that fireworks can have a serious impact on the welfare of all animals.
The charity is reminding people to bear in mind that fireworks season can be a very stressful time of year for pet owners who are trying to protect their animals from the fear and distress they can cause.
Last year the Scottish SPCA released figures which showed 90% of vets support the charity’s call for tighter restrictions regarding the sale and public use of fireworks.
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said, “Current regulations are so relaxed that fireworks can be set off on any given day and for weeks and months on end rather than being limited to the major festival periods.
“This leaves pet owners and farmers unable to make adequate provisions for their animals.
“It’s not surprising that vets are supportive of our calls for tighter restrictions given the sheer volume of animals they are treating for fireworks related fear.
“We’ve been made aware of numerous incidents over the years where animals have come to serious harm and even death as a result of fireworks being set off near them.
“Animals will panic and flee at the sound of the bang and this can result in road traffic accidents. We’ve received reports of wild swans flying into electricity pylons and horses being badly injured after running through barbed wire fences.
“We’re also aware of incidents where farm animals have aborted their young soon after nearby firework displays.”
Chief Supt Flynn continued, “Animals have heightened senses and their hearing is much stronger than ours. A dog’s hearing is twice as sensitive as a human’s and a cat’s three times. The bang from a firework is terrifying to an animal and can cause extreme distress.
“The legislation should reflect the serious impact that fireworks can have on the welfare of domestic, farm and wild animals and currently it does not.”
The Scottish SPCA is reiterating their call for fireworks sales to be restricted to the week preceding 5 November and not at all afterwards, with the current rules pertaining to New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali remaining unchanged.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity is also calling for the unlicensed use of fireworks by members of the public to be limited to defined festival periods rather than all year round.
Scottish SPCA posters highlighting the dangers of fireworks are available to be displayed in local communities. To request copies please phone the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999 and select option 5. Alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org, providing the address for posters to be sent to and the number of posters required.