Highlands & Islands Regional MSP places motion highlighting negative effects of setting off fireworks

1 November 2017

Highlands & Islands Regional MSP, Rhoda Grant has tabled a motion in the Scottish Parliament highlighting the dangers and distress caused to animals by the noise of fireworks being set off over the coming weeks.

Each year Rhoda has supported the campaign by the SSPCA to raise awareness of this issue. This year the organisation have highlighted their concerns under the banner ‘Fireworks misery for animals’.

Rhoda said, “ current regulations are too relaxed and whilst there are now in place restrictions on when a person can buy and when a shop can sell fireworks, these need to be further tightened and there is no legislation governing when fireworks can be set off for example. 

"I would support the SSPCA call for fireworks only to be set off at major festivals and the sale restricted to the week proceeding 5th November and not at all afterwards with the current rules pertaining to New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali remaining unchanged. Legislation should reflect the serious impact fireworks can have on the welfare of domestic, farm and wild animals.

“I am not in the business of spoiling any pleasure people get from watching fireworks displays.

"What I am trying to do is give a supporting voice to the SSPCA campaign and raise the awareness of individuals to the  effects and distress the noise from fireworks make to domestic and wild animals and I would therefore urge individuals or groups to attend public organised events.

Chief Supt. Flynn of the SSPCA publicly stated :

"We recently rescued a hedgehog who was suffering from burned spines and we believe it may have been injured in a bonfire.

“This is why we would urge people to check bonfires before they are lit for hibernating animals such as hedgehogs, frogs and toads."

The SSPCA stated : "We are reiterating its call for fireworks sales to be restricted to the week preceding 5 November and not at all afterwards, with the current rules pertaining to New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali remaining unchanged.

"We are also calling for the unlicensed use of fireworks by members of the public to be limited to defined festival periods rather than all year round.

"Scottish SPCA posters highlighting the dangers of fireworks are available to be displayed in local communities. To request copies please phone 03000 999 999. "

Rhoda's Motion:

 That the Parliament acknowledges that fireworks season can be a very stressful time of year for pet owners who are trying to protect their animals from the fear and distress that the pyrotechnics can cause; notes that most pets have heightened senses, with a dog’s hearing twice as sensitive as a human's, and a cat’s three times; understands that the legal noise limit for a firework is 120 decibels, while a pneumatic drill measures around 100 decibels, and that people are advised to wear ear protectors when exposed to anything above 80 decibels; urges people to attend community events rather than setting off their own fireworks, and requests that, before anyone thinks about setting off their own fireworks, they consider  their own personal safety and that of others, and the welfare of pets.