Pet owners call for change during firework season to keep animals safe


by Emily Rooney

Angry pet owners are calling for more firework controls amid mounting concern about their beloved animals suffering psychological and physical injury during firework season.

A petition has been launched to review regulations around fireworks after an 18-week-old terrier and a rabbit reportedly died following firework celebrations.

The petition had more than half a million signatures at the time of writing, with Susan Paterson, the owner of Molly the terrier, calling for the public to sign the petition, which would limit the use of fireworks to “traditional days,” meaning November 5, Chinese New Year, New Year’s Eve, and Diwali.

Under current government guidelines, fireworks are only available for purchase from registered sellers from the October 15 to November 10, December 26-31, and three days before Diwali and Chinese New Year, and the decibel limit is 120, which is on the reported human pain threshold of 120-140 decibels.

However, fireworks may be purchased from licensed shops year-round.

As well as limiting the days fireworks can be used, the petition also aims to reduce the decibel limit to 97, get decibel labels added to firework packaging to enable consumers to choose the noise level that they are comfortable with, and make sure all public firework displays are licensed.

To help prevent pets being scared or startled during the inevitable firework noises that are heard across the city, Woodside Animal Centre Leicester, which is run by the RSPCA, has put out a Facebook post urging the public to walk their pets during daylight hours, put on music, and create hiding spots around their homes so their pets can feel in control.

The RSPCA has reportedly received 2,285 calls about fireworks since 2014 and supports restrictions on their sale, and acknowledges that it is not only cats and dogs that are at risk, but other forms of wildlife such as livestock animals and non-domestic animals.


  1. […] Emily Rooney investigates how the petition was started by Susan Paterson after her 18-week-old terrier died on Saturday, reportedly as a result of a loud display nearby. […]

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