With bonfire night and Diwali being days away, seniors at Vet Now are urging the government to change the law amind concern that pets are being put at risk. The call stems from Sainsbury’s decision to stop selling fireworks from all of its 2,300 stores.
Statistics from Vets Now found, 96% of over 7000 respondents said they would support tighter controls on fireworks while 73% said their pets were scared of the noise fireworks created.
Vets Now’s network of clinics and hospitals regularly treat pets who have been involved in accidents after being spooked by fireworks, including Welsh terrier, Taffy, who “darted away from his owners onto a busy road” due to being petrified from the noise the fireworks made.
Robert Lomas, Taffy’s owner, said his dog was dragged under a car and needed emergency veterinary treatment at Vets Now in Manchester to survive the ordeal.
Lomas said: “It was so traumatic. I was really upset and shaken up. I tried to get him into the house, but he was urinating blood and I panicked.
“The past few years have been an absolute nightmare for fireworks. I’d definitely support moved to restrict sales, license displays and reduce the decibel level.”
Meanwhile, West Highland terrier Archie, ended up in a “bloodbath” after the stress of fireworks caused an abscess to rupture. Archie was rushed to Vets Now, Ilford, where he was treated.
Archie’s owner, Anne Jackson, said: “What happened to Archie was just awful. He’s been a part of our family since he was eight weeks old, I would hate for any other dog to suffer like he did and anything that can be done to change the law to help protect animals from fireworks gets my support.”
Clinical director at Vets Now, Amanda Boag, who also called on the government to do more to prevent irresponsible use of fireworks, said: “Fireworks can be hugely distressing for pets when they’re let off unexpectedly, They are also too noisy and too easily available.
“To reduce the distress caused to pets we urgently need a review of fireworks regulations to prevent supermarkets and other retailers from selling them for private use, we’d also like to see their use restricted to licensed public events, which are well publicised in advance, around traditional dates only.”
Several countries, including Ireland, have banned the sale of private-use fireworks because of concerns over their impact on people, pets, livestock and wildlife as one recent consultation by the Scottish Government, found strong support for tighter controls and restrictions, with most people wanting fireworks used only at organised displays.
Founder of FAB Firework Abandonment, Julie Doorne, has been campaigning for tougher laws on fireworks for over four years. She said: “I’m delighted Vets Now has joined us in calling for much stricter legislation on fireworks.
“The existing law does not protect animals or vulnerable people. We are sick and tired of seeing and hearing stories about animals and people suffering because of the use of fireworks.”
She added: “It is high time the government and MPs listened to the people on this issue and urgently reviewed firework regulations. It is the only way to prevent any needless distress or suffering.”