20 October 2015

Don’t let a bang lead to a whimper, keep pets safe on Bonfire Night

Leader of the Council, Cllr Warren Morgan, is backing calls from the RSCPCA to keep pets safe this Bonfire Night. Firework whistles, bangs and screeches can be very stressful for animals, with RSPCA research showing 45 per cent of dogs may be fearful of fireworks.  Yet there are practical ways to keep this explosive time of year as calm as possible for pets and safer for all.

Cllr Warren Morgan said: "As a dog owner, I am well aware of how fireworks can upset much loved pets. I'd ask people to think about the distress their fireworks cause to pets and consider going to an organised display instead of setting of fireworks at home or in public places. Fireworks can be dangerous and they are not cheap, so why not donate money to an animal charity or a homeless shelter instead of buying fireworks this year?"

Fireworks have grown in popularity in recent years and the number of injuries has risen accordingly. There are strict laws about who can buy fireworks and at what times they can be set off. When handling fireworks it is important to always follow the Firework Code and check out the latest advice from East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (www.esfrs.org).

Cllr Morgan added: “Professional displays are organised by pyrotechnical experts and are recognised as being safer for viewing fireworks. At these events, fireworks are let off in controlled environments and litter is collected afterwards. Local residents know when and where professional displays are taking place so they can prepare in advance. There is no warning when fireworks are let off in residential areas or our public parks. A little consideration in choosing how to enjoy bonfire celebrations can make this year’s fireworks fun and safe for all residents, including our four legged friends.”

Key safety advice for pets from the RSPCA includes making dens in the home where dogs and cats can retreat to, not letting animals out when fireworks are being let off nearby and never taking a dog to a firework display.

RSPCA Scientific Officer Lisa Richards said: “As the winter months draw in many of us look forward to going to local bonfire and fireworks festivities. The RSPCA want to make sure the enjoyment is for everyone - as animals may become distressed or confused at what is happening. We would always advise letting your vet know of any signs of stressed or unusual behaviour in your animal so they can give you advice to help your pet in the long-term, but there are also some quick tips to help you and your pet during the fireworks.”

For more information have a look at RSPCA guidance about how to help dogs, cats and caged pets

Information and advice is also available on the council website:

The Firework Code

Details of local professional firework displays can be found here: