The British public are turning against ad hoc fireworks displays. They want properly organised public displays on a one-off basis instead. Also, firework sellers have to pay increased costs to satisfy safety requirements. There is pressure on the fireworks business to curtail fireworks from above and below.
“It is undoubtedly more difficult than it used to be. There is definitely an anti-fireworks feeling out there, which I don’t think is entirely justified.”-Tom Smith, secretary of the British Pyrotechnists Association
Recently, a major supermarket chain, Sainsbury’s, decided to no longer sell fireworks at its 2,300 supermarkets. There’s also been a parliamentary petition which recorded 750,000 signatures on anti-firework motions over three years.
One petition, set up by Amy Cullen, argues that fireworks should be restricted to professional displays.
“Fireworks are a nuisance to the public. They scare animals, young children and people with a phobia.”
All of us with companion animals know fireworks often disturb them. They often become frightened by loud noises. Some people recommend playing calming music. The radio station Classic FM is going to broadcast two 3 hour shows of symphonies and sonatas specially selected for their calming effect over the fireworks period.
With respect to dogs, the charity Dogs Trust has created some sounds which dog owners can play to acclimatise them to sudden noises such as fireworks or thunder. They are suitable to dogs between the ages of three and 16 weeks. You can also buy dog earmuffs online for £50. Apparently they are easily shaken of according to reviewers.
The RSPCA advises owners to close windows and curtains. They also advise playing calming music and provide hiding places around the home. Sounds can be muffled by blankets if an animal lives in a cage.
Finally, although not animal related, military veterans can sometimes suffer from PTSD and other mental health issues. Fireworks can create sounds which cause anxiety in these people. They should be respected. Controlled firework displays set up by professionals would protect war veterans, anxious companion animals and indeed all the people who don’t like fireworks themselves or on behalf of their cats and dogs.