As the firework season opens and owners face the annual worry of injury – or worse – to their horses, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has put the initial set of regulations associated with the newly passed Fireworks Act out for consultation. Responses were due earlier this week.
The proposed law includes a mandatory ban on Air Bombs – the “scream-bang” fireworks the industry voluntarily removed from sale at the beginning of this year; a year-round 11pm to 7am curfew (excluding New Year’s Eve) on fireworks and a ban on under-18s carrying fireworks in public places.
However, critics of the Act, introduced as a private member’s bill by MP Bill Tynan (Lab), fear that the legislation will make little difference in practice.
“The regulations that have been discussed will not solve anything,” says campaigner Teresa Kulkarni, who presented a petition to Downing Street this July in favour of restricting fireworks to licensed public displays. “The problem is that the Act excludes garden fireworks. And decibel limits and curfews are just a joke from an enforcement point of view.”
Read the article in full – including further reactions to the regulations – in this week’s issue of Horse & Hound (23 October).