A petition calling for an “urgent review” of firework regulations has gathered more than 214,000 signatures in under three weeks.
Horse owner Julie Doorne, a longstanding campaigner for tighter fireworks regulations, is lobbying the office for product safety and standards to further restrict the use of fireworks to “prevent needless animal suffering”.
“I would like to get to 500,000 signatures because I don’t think they would be able to ignore that number,” Ms Doorne told H&H, adding she is hoping to reach that target by early 2019.
“[When I launched the petition] the number of signatures were going up by 50 a minute.”
The office for product safety and standards is a government body, formed in January 2018 by the department for business, energy and industrial strategy.
Ms Doorne, who is a founder member of the the FAB fireworks abatement campaign group, started an appeal in 2015, which led to a parliamentary debate in 2016.
She is also behind the 2017 petition to the government calling for a ban on public use of fireworks, which received 113,285 signatures and was debated in parliament in January.
Ms Doorne, who will receive a Sefton award from the British Horse Society next month in recognition of “outstanding service in the field of safety”, is also urging people to write to their MPs to ask them to support the cause.
The petition is asking for a restriction in dates fireworks can be used, reduced noise levels, the requirement for all public displays to be licenced, and better labelling indicating noise level to give buyers more information and choice.
“Fireworks can cause serious distress to animals,” states the petition.
“They don’t only suffer psychologically, but also physically as many attempt to run away from, or hide from, the bangs.
“With extreme noise levels and people being able to let off fireworks any time of year, it’s difficult for those who care for animals to be able to put measures in place to protect their animals.
“This is why I’m calling for an urgent review of firework regulations to further restrict their use, as a step to preventing needless animal suffering.”
It adds that every year the RSPCA receives “hundreds of calls” relating to fireworks.
“Not just dogs and cats, but other pets, livestock and wildlife,” states the petition.
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“There are also frequent reports of horses harming themselves by crashing into stable doors and over fences. These poor animals don’t understand what is causing the loud bangs and bright flashes.
“The 2003 Fireworks Act and 2004 Fireworks Regulations don’t do enough to protect animals.
“We urgently need a review of fireworks regulations that should consider: restricting private use (not just purchase) of fireworks to traditional dates such as November 5th, New Year’s Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali.
“Reducing the maximum permitted decibels for private use fireworks from 120, which is above the human pain threshold, to 97.
“Requiring all public fireworks displays to be licensed [and] requiring fireworks packaging to be labelled indicating the noise level, to allow consumer choice.”
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