To keep to their promise of being dog friendly, a holiday park in Cornwall has decided to take matters into their own hands and ban fireworks displays – instead, opting a noiseless alternative.
Hedley Wood holiday park, located on the Devon and Cornwall border, is swapping bangs and flashes for a for a laser light display for holidaymakers to enjoy at their annual Bonfire Night event on Friday 1 November.
General Manager of Hedley Wood, Jenny Neyron, explains, “We didn’t feel it was right to call ourselves a dog friendly park and then hold a firework display which we know causes significant stress to pets and other wildlife. We are surrounded by peaceful countryside, so we are a perfect place for dog owners to holiday with their pets and not have to worry about noise from fireworks causing upset.
“Our alternative Bonfire Night Show will feature a state-of-the-art laser light display, a big bonfire to keep everyone warm and stalls offering a range of tasty treats. We are delighted to say that our Bonfire Night will not go off with a bang, but we promise it will still sparkle”
Hedley Wood’s alternative Bonfire Night event will take place on Friday 1 November from 7pm. Adult tickets are £4.50 and child tickets are £1.00. Tickets include the laser light show, hot drink and a sparkler and are available to purchase from reception. Dog owners looking for a firework-free break can stay in a two-bedroom, pet friendly Comfort caravan.
Meanwhile, the RSPCA has met with the British Fireworks Association, as well as various organisations at a local level including Rotary clubs to spread the message that fireworks cause stress to animals. Ahead of the dreaded bonfire season, the RSPCA have also released a new report to highlight the stress fireworks cause to pets and wildlife, and are urging the UK Government to act .
Since 2014 the RSPCA has received 2,285 calls about fireworks, with 411 of these calls last year alone. As well as dogs, cats and horses, calls about alpacas and an African grey parrot have also been made to the charity.
The charity would like to see the public sale and use of fireworks further limited to four specific celebration and festival dates; November 5, December 31, Chinese New Year and Diwali. They are also campaigning for a noise restriction on the maximum level of decibels they can reach, and for all public fireworks displays to be licensed and advertised in advance.
RSPCA government relations manager Claire McParland said, “We see the impact of fireworks on animals every year and we know there is strong public feeling about the use of fireworks with more than 100,000 people signing petitions to restrict their use in recent years.
“We are urging the UK Government to act on this strength of feeling – which would support owners to help their animals cope at this time of year. There is current legislation in place but the RSPCA believes the Fireworks Act 2003 and the Fireworks Regulations 2004 don’t go far enough. The public can help by visiting our website and writing to their local council to request restrictions on fireworks at a local level.”
For more information and resources about how to reduce stress in animals during fireworks season please visit www.rspca.org.uk/fireworks.