The Scottish SPCA has this month released new research which shows that 90% of vets support the charity’s call for tighter restrictions on their sale and public use.
The information comes ahead of firework and bonfire festivities across Aberdeenshire.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity conducted a poll among veterinary practices in Scotland earlier this year and the response was overwhelmingly in favour of increased regulation.
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said, “Current regulations are so relaxed that fireworks can be set off on any given day and for weeks and months on end rather than being limited to the major festival periods.
“This leaves pet owners and farmers unable to make adequate provisions for their animals.
“It’s not surprising that vets are supportive of our calls for tighter restrictions given the sheer volume of animals they are treating for fireworks related fear and our survey is really only the tip of the iceberg.
“We’ve been made aware of numerous incidents over the years where animals have come to serious harm and even death as a result of fireworks being set off near them.
“Animals will panic and flee at the sound of the bang and this can result in road traffic accidents. We’ve received reports of wild swans flying into electricity pylons and horses being badly injured after running through barbed wire fences.
“We’re also aware of incidents where farm animals have aborted their young soon after nearby firework displays.”
Chief Supt Flynn continued: “The legislation should reflect the serious impact that fireworks can have on the welfare of domestic, farm and wild animals and currently it does not.”
At present, fireworks can be used in public on any day of the year between the hours of 7am and 11pm, with the laws further relaxed around major occasions such as November 5, New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali.
The Scottish SPCA is calling for fireworks sales to be restricted to the week preceding November 5 and not at all afterwards, with the current rules pertaining to New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali remaining unchanged. The charity is also calling for the unlicensed use of fireworks by the public to be limited.