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The government has responded to a 146,331-signature online petition calling for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the general public by saying it has no plans to further restrict their use.

Many equestrians have backed the campaign, following a spate of accidents involving horses in the weeks around 5 November.

The government responds to all petitions lodged on the parliament.uk website that receive more than 100,000 signatures, but said it would not be taking this one forward to debate.

The petitions committee explained it would not be scheduling a second discussion, as a recent one had taken place on 6 June.

“The government acknowledges that there are genuine concerns about the use, and misuse, of fireworks. Legislation restricts the sale of fireworks and controls their use, and we have no plans to extend this further,” the statement said.

Fireworks death toll

Several devastated owners have called for fireworks to be removed from sale after losing horses in accidents this month.

Nelly Shell’s 12-year-old ex-racehorse Boy had to be put down after severing a tendon when he ran into fencing during a private display nearby.

[Fireworks] shouldn’t be sold to the general public, as in the wrong hands, this is what can happen,” she said.

“If these people had said they were having a display, we could have moved the horses, but they didn’t.”

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Karen Mills said she was planning to write to her MP and start her own petition after her coloured colt Shiloh was found dead on Monday, 7 November.

The two-year-old was found tangled in fencing in his field in The Wirrall.

“We will be heard, but more petitions will help,” she said.

Two horses belonging to the rescue charity Redwings also had to be put down on 6 November following local displays.

Sprite, a 19-year-old 12.2hh Welsh pony was found suffering with colic, while Percy, a 25-year-old 13hh palomino was found unable to bear weight on his off-fore.

“Although we can never know for sure, it is likely the incidents were as a result of nearby fireworks displays,” said Redwings chief executive Lynn Cutress.

“It is extremely important that anyone planning a display, no matter the scale, who live near livery yards or land where horses are kept makes the effort to respect our animal friends and be aware of the devastating results of these types of celebrations.”