In the last five years, we've received 1,621 calls about fireworks and their effects on animals. We see heartbreaking videos and images of animals struggling to cope during fireworks and the stress it causes them. We want to see fireworks regulations changed to protect our pets, wildlife and farm animals.
More private displays expected in 2021
With more and more public event cancellations and concerns around large gatherings, this year's fireworks celebrations could be a powder keg for animals and their owners. While the bright colours, flashing lights and snap, crackle and pops are entertaining for humans - these result in huge fear, distress and fatal injuries for all kinds of animals.
Over half of adults will hold private displays
A recent poll revealed that 52% of UK adults in England and Wales will be holding private displays at home, with friends and family. This spike in private displays (29% more than in 2019), could cause havoc for pets, livestock and wildlife.
This is why our campaign's vital message for 2021 is to encourage the public to consider their neighbours and notify those with animals so that they can prepare in advance. Please remember before the cheer, consider their fear.
Hundreds of pets affected by fireworks
Sadly, we estimate that hundreds of domesticated animals are cowering in their beds and shaking uncontrollably as fireworks are set off in surrounding neighbourhoods and for nights at a time.
Sadly it's not just dogs like Harley, suffering like this, results saw many pets showing distress during fireworks:
- 62% of dogs
- 54% of cats
- 55% of horses
Fireworks are damaging to farm animals and wildlife
Farm animals are easily frightened by loud noises and sudden flashes of bright light, which can startle and cause them to injure themselves on fencing and farm equipment.
Wildlife, like hedgehogs, are also at risk of being burnt alive after making their homes in bonfires.
Fireworks are also highly disturbing to some birds and have caused the abandonment of nests or even whole colonies.
Encouraging change with authorities
This year, we've developed a handy toolkit for local authorities. This lets us support them in reaching out to local communities and raising awareness about the impact fireworks have on animals, mitigating the dangerous risks of irresponsible firework use. We're also continuing to share our suggested motion for local-level change.
Get your local council to change fireworks regulations
We're not alone, 85% of people think public firework displays should be licensed. This is just one of the vital, long-overdue changes we're calling for. If you agree, join us by encouraging your local council to take more action on fireworks.
Firework regulation changes we are calling for
Restrict private use to traditional dates
Restrict the private use of fireworks to agreed traditional dates (i.e. November 5th, New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali). These dates are already recognised as being exceptional in the fireworks regulations and we believe that the existing prohibition on sales at all other times could and should be extended to include use as well.
Reduce maximum permitted decibels for private use
We want to see the maximum permitted noise level of fireworks for public sale reduced to 90 decibels. Noise level studies have indicated that this level - equivalent to a car door slamming - is likely to minimise distress to animals.
The current allowed level, 120 decibels, is equivalent to a jet aircraft taking off. Fireworks above 90 decibels should only be used at licensed public displays.
All public firework displays to be licensed
We believe all public fireworks displays need to be licensed by the relevant licensing authority. Information about the proposed display must be provided in the local area with a process for local residents to appeal against the granting of the licence.
This process should also apply to people seeking to hold private displays at special events such as weddings.
Private fireworks boxes to be labelled
We would also like to see fireworks labelled as 'loud' or 'low noise' to allow consumers to make an informed decision if they do buy fireworks.
Share your story
Every year we see the devastating effects of fireworks on animals. You can be part of the solution by helping us gather incidents. With just a short survey, you can share your story and your voice can make change happen.
Colour in poster children's activity
Choose your posters for colouring in and displaying in your window to spread the word.
Study was conducted in England and Wales via Kantar OnLineBus, an Internet omnibus survey. A sample of 1,137 adults aged 16+ were interviewed in October 2019. 345 dog owners and 320 cat owners and 20 horse owners responded to the question: 'Does your pet/animal show signs of distress during the fireworks season?'.