Campaigners aiming to bring about a change in the laws surrounding firework use have issued a rallying call to horse owners to join the fight.
In under five weeks, more than 100,000 people signed the FAB fireworks abatement group’s latest petition, which calls for a ban on public use.
An initial response from the government, made when the number of signatures reached 10,000, said no change was needed to firework law.
But when the number of supporters reached 100,000, the government announced the issue would be debated in parliament, on 29 January next year.
Julie Doorne, one of the founders of the campaign group, has urged the public to support the movement further.
“We need people to write to their MPs before the debate,” she told H&H.
“If they don’t, MPs will say: ‘I haven’t heard from people; it’s not a problem in my constituency,’ so writing to them is a huge thing.”
Julie said people can find out their MPs’ contact details online (link) and that any letter or email, however short, will make a difference.
“It will help enormously, as they can’t deny it then,” she added. “If every MP in the country gets letters or emails, it will really help.”
The government has already debated a petition calling for restrictions to the dates on which fireworks can be sold, which was also started by the campaign group and was signed by more than 100,000 people.
“No law was ever changed on one debate,” said horse owner Julie, who has devoted hours of her time to the campaign over recent years.
“It’s not just owners of horses and other animals; it’s people too; things that aren’t thought about. One lady contacted me because her husband’s support dog hadn’t alerted him he was going to go into a diabetic coma; she found him slumped in his chair.
The owner has vowed to raise awareness so her horse’s death was not in vain
The mare is expected to recover from the injuries sustained in a collision with a car but her owner wants
The petition has had more than 27,000 signatures in its first three weeks
“The dog had been unable to do its job as it was scared of the constant fireworks. Then there are lots of medical conditions that make people hyper-sensitive to noise, not to mention those with hearing aids, which don’t filter like our ears do.
“I don’t know how to impress on the government how much it affects people’s lives.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.