It is a tradition to celebrate a few specific events with fireworks. There are special occasions in most cultures like the 5th of November, Diwali, or New Year’s Eve when people celebrate with crackers. However, at a special event like a sports event or a finale of a sports event, we use firecrackers for celebrations too. Firecrackers, as mentioned earlier, are intrinsic to our celebrations.
But that does not rob the fact that firecrackers can cause immense harm to animals. When firecrackers are unleashed, you may have seen animals scuttering away and trying to find a shelter. It is not new to find many animals being harmed by firecrackers. The sudden explosions are not something animals are accustomed too. RSPCA has often mentioned how animals harm themselves while trying to escape from places where loud explosions are heard. Even horses have been reported to bang their heads against stable doors when they hear a nearby explosion.
This year, the tragic news of an 18-week-old puppy dying of a heart attack due to firecrackers have gone viral all over the internet. The terrier of 18-weeks, Molly, heard loud bangs of Darfield area and Wombwell in South Yorkshire. The puppy got such a fright after hearing the explosions that she had a heart attack. The sounds of firecrackers led to her tragic and untimely death.
Susan Paterson was devastated at the puppy’s death and shared the news on a Facebook group Wombwell Wise. She wanted people to think of animals too when they are igniting firecrackers. She also told people to join the FAB Anti random Firework page and sign up their petition which asks for the review of all the firecracker laws.
Julie Doorne was the one who started the petition and according to the petition, firecrackers can affect animals physically and mentally. Plus, it does not only affect strays. People with pets find it hard to stop the loud noises from affecting their pets as pet owners fail to put in the right measures. Hence, Julie wants an immediate review of the firecracker laws.
About 500,000 signatures have already been gathered. The petition stresses how about 40% of dogs are not comfortable with loud noises and becomes miserable when random firecrackers are burst.
- Restrictions on the private use and purchase of firecrackers during traditions like New Year’s Eve, Diwali, 5th of November, etc.
- Permittable threshold decibel should be lowered from 120 dB to 97dB.
- Licensed public works will only be allowed.
- Firework packaging should have decibel information.
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Debates on firework safety took place in January of 2018 in the parliament but nothing much has happened after that. Hopefully, now, things can be put into motion.
As of now, RSPCA has provided several guidelines as to how you could take care of your pets when there are firecrackers bursting all over. You can take them out during the day when firecrackers are not burst. During the night, you should close the windows and have suitable hiding spots present in the house for your pet. For cats, use microchips to track the cat, if they get a shock and run away. For smaller pets, RSPCA recommends padding the cage leaving air space and also, providing blankets as a home so that can create a burrow if necessary.
Molly’s death may not be the first and may not be the last until we do something about it. Signing this petition can be a way to give justice to her death.
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