Wirral Council is being asked to back a new campaign to protect animals from the effects of fireworks.
In the last four years, the RSPCA received a total of 1,543 calls about fireworks and their effects on animals and the charity says that around 62% of dogs show signs of distress during fireworks. This alone means thousands of animals are affected by unplanned and random fireworks each year. Results also saw other animals showing distress during fireworks including cats and horses.
The British Horse Society reports 20 deaths, 10 severe injuries, and 88 mild to moderate injuries in horses in fireworks incidents since 2010.
Wallasey Councillors Lesley Rennie, Ian Lewis and Paul Hayes are asking the Council to back tougher controls on fireworks when the Council next meets on Monday 7 December.
Cllr. Lesley Rennie said: “We have been contacted by many residents in Wallasey, concerned about the effects of increasingly loud and high strength fireworks.
“Sadly it's not just household pets that are affected by fireworks. Wildlife, like hedgehogs, are also at risk of being burnt alive after making their homes in bonfires. Fireworks are also highly disturbing to some birds and have caused the abandonment of nests or even whole colonies.”
“We’re asking the Council to work with the RSPCA to limit this harm.”
The RSPCA campaign #bangoutoforder is asking for continued work to actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks and urging the Government to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays and to consider options that could limit the private sales of fireworks to individuals.
One of the residents backing the campaign is Lorraine Robinson: “This campaign is especially important for me as early this year I rescued a dog, Rodney, from a Bulgarian Kill Shelter. He was on the last day of an euthanasia order when he was rescued. He arrived extremely traumatised and fearful of everything and I have to say the first few months were extremely difficult. However, with lots of love and patience we turned him round into a lovely little boy and he is extremely loving and happy.
“I read everything I could about fireworks and dogs and had lots of calming things ready but the few weeks surrounding November 5th, as the fireworks go on for nights, have bought back a lot of Rodney's anxieties and fears and it’s been a really hard few weeks trying to settle him down again and it’s a work in progress. After 5th November he was back to where he was at the beginning of the classes and worse.
“I would like to say that if people knew the consequences of their actions they may reconsider letting fireworks off. When my children were young I too had home fireworks for a few years until I saw the consequences on a neighbour's dog and after that I would never allow them again and we always attended an organised display after that. However, myself and my children are no longer interested in fireworks having seen the effects on innocent animals.”
Councillor Ian Lewis added: "Thank you to Lorraine and other residents who have been in touch with Lesley, Paul and I on this issue - we hope the Council will back the RSPCA campaign, helping to highlight the risks to animals across the Borough."
Residents can back the RSPCA campaign by signing up here: https://www.rspca.org.uk/getinvolved/campaign/fireworks