Follow The Firework Code

Posted on: 26 March 2008 by 50connect editorial

In the run-up to 5 November and Diwali, the RSPCA is urging people to minimise harm to animals by attending public displays, or if they must celebrate at home, to buy low-noise fireworks.

Vets treat thousands of animals each year as a result of fireworks, and research has shown they are a major cause of distress and injury to both pets and wildlife.

The RSPCA received 360 calls about incidents involving animals and fireworks during October and November 2002 and calls continued to come in during the summer.

The Society believes that by having fewer displays and reducing the noise produced by garden fireworks, the number of animals affected can be minimised.

Noise levels

The RSPCA’s Quiet Please campaign, launched in February this year, is calling for the government to set a maximum noise level of 95dB - the equivalent of a house door slamming - for fireworks available to the public.

Noise level studies have indicated this is likely to minimise distress to animals, but at the same time would allow people to enjoy displays at home. However, the RSPCA stresses that animals must never be present when fireworks are let off and usual precautions must be taken to avoid distress.

A Fireworks Bill, backed by the RSPCA and other animal welfare charities, has now become law which could mean that in future noise levels will be capped and firework use will be restricted to certain times of the day and year.

In the meantime, the RSPCA is encouraging the public to cause minimum distress and injury to animals by following its advice.

Horrific cases

Steve Cheetham, the RSPCA's acting chief veterinary officer, said: "We are horrified by the number of animals brought to us and vets for emergency care due to firework-related incidents each year. Animals are not only injured directly by fireworks, but also when they are frightened and run from the noise.

"Pet owners can help ensure they are reunited with their pet if it bolts by having them microchipped. It is also a good idea to have pet insurance, which will cover vet bills."

Anyone with an anxious pet should seek advice from their vet. Dog owners can also seek their vet’s advice on the Dog Appeasing Pheramone (DAP), which aims to reduce the sensitivity of dogs to noise.

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