RSPCA fear DIY firework displays could increase after large events cancelled

Cost of living means more people will be holding displays at home

With many public firework displays reportedly being cancelled due to spiralling costs, the RSPCA is concerned the increase in DIY home events will mean more animals than ever will be left terrified.

Major displays in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff among others have been reportedly cancelled due to spiralling costs meaning locals are likely to resort to home displays to celebrate November 5.

The charity is urging those planning DIY displays to consider animals in their local area this upcoming fireworks season. 

Fireworks result in huge fear, distress and can even cause fatal injuries for all kinds of animals. The RSPCA is calling on regulations to be changed to protect our pets, horses, wildlife and farm animals.

Last year the RSPCA started its first online reporting form for members of the public about the impact of fireworks on their animals - receiving 11,785 responses in its first year showing this is a real problem for animals across the country.

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. 

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. 

New stats for this year have shown almost two-thirds (63%) of animal owners surveyed* reported that their pet appeared distressed during firework season.

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; while urging local authorities to introduce localised restrictions too.  

To support the #BangOutOfOrder campaign, please visit the RSPCA website and send a letter to your local council to put forward changes.

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