Eleven organisations have signed an open letter to the Government today asking for a review of fireworks sale and use.
The British Veterinary Association has teamed up with Dogs Trust and nine other organisations (Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Blue Cross, Cats Protection, Children’s Burns Trust, Combat Stress, Dan’s Fund for Burns, Help for Heroes, The Kennel Club and PTSD UK) to send an open letter to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, asking for a review of fireworks legislation.
The letter urges the UK Government to follow in the Scottish Government’s footsteps by committing to a review of the sale and use of fireworks and their impact on animals and people.
The text of the open letter reads:
“We are writing on behalf of a number of organisations that work to improve the welfare of both people and animals, to urge your department to undertake a review of fireworks legislation.
“Current easy access to fireworks is a serious concern for animals that suffer from noise fear, as well as vulnerable people such as those that suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, veterans, or children, young people and adults who are at high risk of being burned at private or public displays. In the lead-up to fireworks season and the heightened use of fireworks that occurs as part of this, we are increasingly concerned about the impact of fireworks on these groups.
“Although there have been several Government awareness campaigns around fireworks, there has been no legislative commitment to a review of fireworks and their impact on people and animal welfare.
“You will be aware that, in June of this year, the Scottish Parliament passed the Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Articles (Scotland) Bill. Once the relevant provisions come into force, the Bill will introduce fireworks licensing in Scotland and specifies that fireworks can only be supplied to, and used by, members of the public only on certain dates (around celebration periods). It also grants local authorities the powers to set-up ‘firework control zones’. The Welsh Government has also indicated it is supportive of UK-wide restrictions on fireworks to avoid border crossing purchasing to circumvent devolved legislation.
“We urge your department to follow suit and to look at reviewing where and when fireworks can be used elsewhere in the UK. Currently, too many animals and people are suffering the consequences of insufficient existing legislation. We strongly believe that this must change.
“We would welcome an opportunity to meet with you to discuss our concerns in more detail.”