‘Big Four’ grocer Sainsbury’s has announced that it will not be selling any fireworks in its stores this year.
The move has been well received by pet owners, with many expressing their thanks on Twitter. Rachael Spencer tweeted: “Every owner of an anxious dog or pet will be so thankful of this and I hope other supermarkets follow.”
@sainsburys Have to say well done & thank you. Been informed local branch #Stanmore won’t b selling fireworks this year due 2 the distress it causes our pets & wildlife. Any other stores doing this? Can’t thank you enough as my dog is beside herself with fear at these times. 👏🏻👏🏻
— Sally Woolf (@Sallymcb) October 14, 2019
@sainsburys Thank you so much for putting safety before profit & choosing not to sell fireworks this year. Animals, elderly, and vulnerable people suffer needlessly around this time of year, so to hear about this was fantastic. I can only hope other supermarkets etc follow suit
— Emma (@emmieblum) October 17, 2019
Sainsbury’s added that customers can continue to choose from a range of seasonal products, such as glow sticks and light up spinning wands.
It comes after the British Veterinary Association (BVA) encouraged pet owners to start preparing now to prevent possible injury and distress to their pets during traditional dates such as Bonfire Night, Diwali or New Year’s Eve.
According to the BVA, at up to 150 decibels fireworks can be as loud as a jet engine and, with many animals particularly sensitive to noise, this can be a “traumatic” and “upsetting” time of the year for them.
Around one in 14 vets across the country reported seeing animals with firework-related injuries over 2018, in the BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey last December.
The BVA said it is encouraging pet owners and livestock keepers to consult with their vet as far in advance as possible to discuss management and treatment options if their animals get severely distressed by fireworks or other noises.
It said a phobia of fireworks can be “effectively treated” with appropriate behaviour-modification techniques, which can achieve long-term success with professional input and owner commitment and patience.
BVA president, Daniella Dos Santos, said: “Fireworks season can be a fun time for many people, but the loud noises and bright flashes can be extremely traumatic for many animals, who have no way of understanding what is happening.
“Preparing ahead is key to keeping pets and livestock calm and safe, from discussing noise desensitisation techniques with your vet and preparing a ‘safe place’ for pets, microchipping and investing in pheromone products.”