RSPCA Cymru is calling on those planning DIY fireworks displays to consider animals in their locality this upcoming fireworks season – as it is feared private displays may increase in Cardiff this year.
Fireworks result in huge fear, distress and can even cause fatal injuries for all kinds of animals and the RSPCA is calling on regulations to be changed to protect our pets, horses, wildlife and farm animals.
The RSPCA believe organised displays can help mitigate risks – with organisers taking precautions, and pet and animal owners in a locality having advanced notice of planned displays.
However, it is now feared that there may be a huge increase in home displays which may cause distress to many more animals across the capital – following the cancellation of a major Cardiff display.
Carrie Stones, RSPCA campaigns manager, said: “We fear that there will now be lots of little displays taking place over weeks and weeks, spreading out fireworks noise and causing prolonged distress for animals across a larger area.
“We’d urge people to be considerate and keep neighbours with animals, including those with nearby horses and other livestock, informed of plans well in advance so they can make preparations to reduce the stress to their animals.
“Equally lower-noise fireworks can make such a difference to make displays safer for everybody.
“Put simply please keep animals in mind if you are planning your own display and check out our advice on our website.”
RSPCA has been running its #BangOutOfOrder campaign for many years which supports more controls over fireworks displays.
As part of this campaign, RSPCA Cymru urges Councils across Wales to adopt a Notice of Motion, committing the local authority to introducing voluntary or localised measures aimed at increasing public awareness of the impact of fireworks on animals, encouraging the use of quieter fireworks and further encouraging the advertising of displays taking place on Council-owned land to enable animal owners to make preparations to protect their animals.
A total of 14 out of 22 councils in Wales have now acted – namely Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea, Torfaen and Wrexham.
“People across Wales have been backing the RSPCA’s #BangOutOfOrder campaign in great numbers – and we hope they can continue to lobby their local authorities to take action and introduce measures to mitigate risks to animals,” added Carrie.
“Together, we can make fireworks less frightening for animals.”
Sadly, every year the RSPCA receives an influx of calls reporting terrified animals during the fireworks season. The animal welfare charity is sent scores of heartbreaking videos and images of animals struggling to cope and the stress it causes them.
It’s not just pets that are distressed by fireworks; horses and livestock can be affected by the loud bangs and bright flashes of light, putting them at risk of injuring themselves on fencing, farm equipment or fixtures and fittings within their housing.
Wildlife can also be seriously impacted by bonfires and fireworks. Wild animals, like hedgehogs, are at risk of being burnt alive after making their homes inside bonfires and piles of leaves, while some birds will flee their nests or whole colonies can disappear due to noise disturbance.
Carrie added: “There is a wealth of information on the RSPCA website on how to prepare your animals in advance such as bringing pets inside and providing extra bedding to make a safe haven. We would also advise you to consult your vet if you feel your animal is particularly anxious.”
The RSPCA is calling for the UK Government to introduce tighter controls and regulations around the sale and use of fireworks in a bid to help both animals and people who suffer with fireworks phobias and noise aversion.
To support the #BangOutOfOrder campaign, please visit the RSPCA website and send a letter to your local council to put forward changes.