A charity is calling for the introduction of silent fireworks after a horse at Harlow Sanctuary was put down as a result of stress from a nearby firework display.
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) discovered that the horse had seriously injured its foot after it panicked during a firework display. PETA then contacted Coun Jon Clempner, the leader of Harlow Council, to help put a stop to the harmful firework noises.
PETA has suggested using silent fireworks. Elisa Allen, Director, PETA UK said ‘Currently, almost all fireworks displays already include some silent elements. But there are now more – and better – quieter fireworks available than ever before, in large part because of the increasing demand for silent or quieter displays.’
Silent fireworks are a brilliant way to keep the fun and still protect wildlife, Elisa added ‘Loud fireworks also scare wildlife, especially deer, into running onto roads, where some are hit and killed by vehicles. Birds have been known to abandon their nests, leaving their eggs vulnerable to predators.’
Household animals are being caused unnecessary panic and disruption, which can have a great impact on their health. Silent fireworks easily solve this issue ‘They’re also more animal-friendly – the bangs from regular fireworks are traumatic for wildlife and also cause many domesticated animals great distress,’ Elisa commented.
She added that dogs are regularly exposed to shows like firework night: ‘During conventional shows, dogs panic as they try frantically to escape the loud noises and can jump through closed windows or over fences, ending up lost, seriously injured, or dead. Some even die outright from fright, strangle on their collars or chains while panicking, or get hit by cars after running from their homes and yards.’
Even birds are at threat as most cannot see well in the dark. Elisa explained ‘This type of flight disruption can cause them to injure themselves by crashing into power lines, cars, buildings, trees, and each other. In one case, 5,000 birds died one New Year’s Eve in Arkansas after a fireworks display caused them to take flight and crash into objects such as houses and cars.’
By using only silent fireworks, everyone can get involved. ‘They also offer a peaceful celebration for noise-sensitive children, elderly people, and individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder – who are sensitive to and can be deeply disturbed by the noise of the explosives – and they don’t put viewers at risk of sustaining hearing loss.’ she said.
Harlow Council’s bonfire and firework’s night will take place at the Town Park on Sunday November fifth and features a 1970’s theme.
PETA are a charity working to protect the rights of all animals. Donations can be given from the website www.peta.org.uk. This will immediately go to aiding in the protection of animal cruelty and deaths from places including laboratories; factory farms the fur industry and circuses.
If you live in an area with conventional fireworks displays, the following tips will help keep animal companions safe:
- Leave your animals at home during the celebrations – never take them with you to watch the displays.
- Never leave animals tethered or chained outside, as they can hang themselves if they leap over a fence while trying to run from the noise.
- Close your windows and curtains. Turn on a radio that’s tuned to a classical-music station or turn on the TV to help drown out the sound of the fireworks.
- Make sure that your animal companion is wearing a collar or a harness with an up-to-date identification tag – just in case.