Animal welfare charity, OneKind, is urging people not to host private firework displays this Bonfire season due to serious animal welfare concerns.

The charity is also asking people to support their local animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres instead of purchasing fireworks.

OneKind Director, Bob Elliot, said:

“As many people who share their homes with animals will know, the noise of fireworks can be a real source of fear and distress for animals, and, as a result, a source of stress for the guardians of those animals also. Firework displays on private properties are particularly stressful, as people in neighbouring houses are unlikely to be given enough notice to put preventative measures in place to try and reduce their animal’s distress.

“Farmed animals and wild animals are also sometimes forgotten about in the conversation regarding fireworks and animal welfare, yet they can suffer just as much as the animals we share our homes with. Wild animals, such as hedgehogs, in particular, may even be burnt alive as they build their homes in bonfires.”

On the recent tragedy of Ollie, the dog who died from a heart attack due to fireworks, Bob said:

“We were so sorry to learn of Ollie’s tragic death during Halloween firework displays. Sadly, it is not the first death of a beloved animal due to the impact of fireworks that we are aware of. There are many victims of fireworks and over the years we have received many messages from concerned supporters about the suffering fireworks inflict upon their animals. One supporter even reported having to sedate her animal on the advice of vets.”

On alternatives to buying fireworks, Bob commented:

“Inspired by the firefighters at Pocklington Fire Station, we’re asking the animal-loving public not to purchase fireworks and instead use that money instead to support their local animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres by buying a couple of cans of food. Given the current climate, these local heroes need more help now than ever.”

In June, the Scottish Government introduced tighter restrictions for firework purchase and use, which OneKind welcomes. Bob said:

“We were glad that the Scottish Government introduced several measures recommended by the Fireworks Review Group earlier this year. These include restricting the times of day fireworks can be used by the general public to between 6pm and 11pm (extended to midnight on 5th November), restricting the times of day fireworks can be supplied to the general public to during the daytime hours of 7am and 6pm, and limiting the quantity of fireworks that can be supplied to the general public to 5kg at any one time.

“That said, we do believe the Scottish Government should go further and look forward to seeing it implement remaining recommendations of the Fireworks Review Group, as committed to in its manifesto.”

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Notes to editor

  1. OneKind is a Scottish animal protection charity based in Edinburgh.
  2. The recommendations of the Firework Review Group can be found here.
  3. The Scottish Government’s Programme for Government 2021-22 can be found here.
  4. For further information please contact Eve Massie Bishop on 0131 285 9859 or [email protected]