Animal charities are urging members of the public to rethink their private firework displays as they turn into a ‘crisis’.
The RSPCA has reportedly received more than 10,000 complaints about firework displays since October, when it set up an online reporting page specifically for fireworks and found that 96% of respondents said their animals felt fear after neighbours let off private fireworks with no warning.
Though displays can be spectacular to watch for humans, they can cause a multitude of issues for animals including causing them to be scared, getting injured as they attempt to run away, or even ending up in fatal incidents.
Both the RSPCA and Cheltenham Animal Shelter believe an increase in the number of private displays comes as a result of public events being cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions. Rosie Taylor-Trigg, an animal behaviourist for Cheltenham Animal Shelter, told BBC News the issue of private displays is a ‘big, big problem’, saying ‘it is becoming a real crisis.’
We are hearing even more about it because people are using fireworks at home now because of the different lockdowns.
When people are doing displays at home, they are terrifying multiple animals – wildlife and pets – and there is a also a human impact, if you are watching your beautiful animal in huge distress – self harming, biting their fur out – it is a huge issue.
Taylor-Trigg likened the sound of fireworks around the animal shelter to a ‘war zone’, noting that even if an individual household doesn’t think one private display would cause a problem, ‘hundreds of households are thinking the same kind of thing.’
Carrie Stones, campaign manager for the RSPCA, said the organisation has heard ‘many distressing stories’ of animals ‘left in fear’ due to fireworks, and advised anyone who is still planning to use fireworks to look for low noise options and warn neighbours of their plans beforehand.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]