More than 9 in 10 pet owners back crackdown on sale and use

Our most senior vets have issued a clarion call to MPs to change the law on the sale and use of fireworks.

They are urging the government to take radical action over concerns that animals are being put at risk, especially around bonfire night.

Their calls to prevent supermarkets and other retailers from selling powerful fireworks for personal use come in the wake of Sainsbury’s decision to stop selling them from all of its 2,300 stores.

In a poll carried out by Vets Now, 96% of more than 7000 respondents said they would support tighter controls on fireworks while 73% said their pets were scared of the noise they create.

Dog staring at fireworks for Vets Now article on dangers of fireworks to pets

Join our campaign

We’re campaigning for a change in the law to restrict the sale and use of bigger, noisier fireworks. Click the link for more information.

Find out more

Welsh terrier Taffy (pictured) was so petrified of the loud bangs from rockets he darted away from his owners on to a busy road.

Robert Lomas said his dog was dragged under a car and needed emergency veterinary treatment at Vets Now in Manchester to survive the ordeal.

Robert added: “It was so traumatic. I was really upset and shaken up. I tried to get him into the house, but he was urinating blood and I panicked.

“The past few years have been an absolute nightmare for fireworks. I’d definitely support moves to restrict sales, license displays and reduce the decibel level.”

Image of Taffy the Welsh terrier for Vets Now article on dog fireworks injury
Taffy ran on to the road after being spooked by a firework and within seconds he was under a car (© Vets Now)

Meanwhile, West Highland terrier Archie (pictured) ended up in a bloodbath after the stress of fireworks caused an abscess to rupture.

He was rushed to Vets Now in Ilford, where vet surgeons got to work on stemming the bleeding and cleaning up his wounds.

Archie’s owner, Anne Jackson, said: “What happened to Archie was just awful. He’s been part of our family since he was eight weeks old.

“I would hate for any other dog to suffer like he did and anything that can be done to change the law to help protect animals from fireworks gets my support.”

Archie the Westie for Vets Now article on dogs fireworks effects
Archie's owner says she would hate for any other dog to suffer like Archie

Amanda Boag, clinical director at Vets Now, called on the government to do more to prevent irresponsible use of fireworks.

She said: “Fireworks can be hugely distressing for pets, especially when they’re let off unexpectedly.

“They are also too noisy and too easily available. To reduce the distress caused to pets we urgently need a review of fireworks regulations to prevent supermarkets and other retailers from selling powerful fireworks for private use.

“We believe fireworks should only be used by professional operators in organised displays around traditional dates, such as bonfire night.”

Several countries, including Ireland, have banned the sale of larger private-use fireworks because of concerns over their impact on people, pets, livestock and wildlife.

One recent consultation, commissioned by the Scottish Government, found strong support for tighter controls and restrictions, with the vast majority of respondents calling for fireworks to be used only at organised displays.

Calls to change the law so fireworks are less frightening for animals are backed by the RSPCA and pressure group the Fireworks Abatement Campaign (FAB).

Julie Doorne, who founded FAB and has been campaigning for tougher laws on fireworks for more than four years, said: “I’m delighted Vets Now has joined us in calling for much stricter legislation on fireworks.

“The existing law does not protect animals or vulnerable people. We are sick and tired of seeing and hearing stories about animals and people suffering because of the use of fireworks.

“It is high time the government and MPs listened to the people on this issue and urgently reviewed firework regulations. It is the only way to prevent any needless distress or suffering.”