Thousands of animals’ lives are made a misery by fireworks each year. However, thanks to the overwhelming response from the public, on 27 February the UK Parliamentary Petitions Committee launched an inquiry into firework law.
The RSPCA are now urging those affected by the use of fireworks to take part by submitting their views to the Petitions Committee. The charity had backed a recent petition by Julie Doorne which called for a review of firework rules to protect animals from injury and distress. This saw more than 370,000 signatures, but now the charity is asking for petition signers to take further action.
RSPCA campaign manager Mary Stevens said, “This just goes to show that action taken by the public makes a difference – everyone that has signed a fireworks petition in recent years should be proud that they have got us this far.
“Now we want their views submitted to the UK Parliament’s Petition Committee so that this can help lead to legislative change and protect the many animals suffering fear and distress as a result of fireworks.”
Julie Doorne, lead petitioner and fireworks campaigner, said, “After many years of highlighting public concern, I am really pleased the issue of fireworks is being taken seriously through this inquiry. I hope that everyone who has been impacted by the sporadic and unexpected use of loud fireworks, whatever changes they would like to see, share their experiences with the Petition Committee. Now that the UK Parliament is asking for our views we must use this opportunity to voice our concerns further.”
The action can be found via the RSPCA’s website and will close at 5pm on Monday 8th April.
The RSPCA wants to restrict private use on all but four days of the year: November 5, New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year, and Diwali. Statistics show that in November last year the charity received 254 calls about fireworks and already this year – despite it not being close to the traditional fireworks season – the charity has received 16 calls.
The charity has also expressed that they would like to see the maximum permitted noise level of fireworks for public sale reduced from 120 decibels. Despite the limited research on the maximum noise level which could be permitted without causing suffering to animals, owners can agree that any reduction is likely to be beneficial.
In addition to this, the RSPCA feels tighter restrictions should be placed on the sale of fireworks in the run up to Bonfire night. The charity believe the sales restriction should be limited to October 29 through to November 5. Presently, they can be sold from October 15 through to November 10 whereas the restrictions for the sale of fireworks for the other traditional dates are much tighter.
Finally, the RSPCA would like to see all public fireworks displays licensed by the relevant licensing authority, with information about the proposed display provided in the local area and a process for local residents to appeal against the granting of the licence. This would be extremely helpful for owners so they are able to prepare their pets for any upcoming displays and choose appeal against the grant if they feel it is not suitable.