Make fireworks less frightening for animals

We're not asking for a total ban on fireworks, but believe that regulations should be changed to protect animal welfare.

Every year, we receive hundreds of calls about fireworks and animals:

  • 434 in 2016
  • 501 in 2017
  • 411 in 2018
  • 197 in 2019

#BangOutOfOrder highlights the importance of regulation changes

Bang out of order report (PDF 706KB)

New poll shows a higher number of pets affected by fireworks

A recent poll confirmed around 62 percent of dogs show signs of distress during fireworks. This alone means thousands of animals are affected by unplanned and random fireworks each year.

Results also saw other animals showing distress during fireworks:

  • 54 percent of cats
  • 55 percent of horses

The British Horse Society reports 20 deaths, 10 severe injuries, and 88 mild to moderate injuries in horses in fireworks incidents since 2010.

Fireworks are damaging to farm animals and wildlife

Sadly it's not just household pets that are affected by fireworks.

  • 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 abandonment of nests or even whole colonies.

Take action to change firework regulations

In a recent poll, we found out that 85 percent think public firework displays should be licensed. This is just one of the regulation changes we're calling for. If you agree, take action by encouraging your local council to put forward changes.

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.


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?'.

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