No-firework zones around livery yards and riding schools suggested in Scotland

  • No-firework zones around livery yards and riding schools are among the suggestions to come out of a public consultation on fireworks in Scotland, as the Government looks to introduce new legislation “at the earliest opportunity”.

    In June the Scottish Government launched a consultation to gain views on proposed amendments to firework laws. The proposals included mandatory conditions at the point of sale of fireworks, no-firework zones and making it an offence to carry pyrotechnics such as flares or smoke devices in a public place (news 3 June).

    The consultation had 1,739 responses and findings released this month include the fact 84% backed introducing a licensing system, 92% agreed with creating a new offence to criminalise the supply of fireworks to under-18s, and 83% agreed with creating no-firework zones, suggestions for which included areas around livery yards, riding schools and vet hospitals. Proposals also include restricting the days fireworks can be used by the public to; 29 October to 12 November, 26 to 31 December, the first day of Chinese New Year and Diwali and the weeks following them.

    Scottish Government community safety minister Ash Regan said the consultation builds on significant engagement and evidence gathering and demonstrated the range of views among those who responded.

    “I am committed to making our communities safer and we have already moved quickly to introduce regulations restricting the times of day and the volume of fireworks that can be supplied to the public — as well as the times fireworks can be set off,” she said.

    “We are intent on further improving safety for communities across Scotland by taking forward the Fireworks and Pyrotechnics Bill at the earliest opportunity to ensure appropriate action is taken over the sale and use of fireworks and to reduce the misuse of pyrotechnic devices such as flares.”

    World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers told H&H the consultation “clearly demonstrates” there is public support for making fireworks safer for all.

    “We are heartened that the majority of those who responded agreed on the need for licensing the possession and use of fireworks, and for this licence to require completion of an online safety course which would cover the impact on animals. We are also pleased to see support for set dates when the public can use fireworks – although we think the proposed window is too wide, particularly around Bonfire Night,” he said

    “There is also clear support for no-firework zones which would be best led by local authorities who understand their areas, and it is essential that they be given the appropriate resources and training to fulfil this role.

    “We welcome the community safety minister’s commitment to take forward the Bill and strongly encourage the English and Welsh Governments to seriously consider similar actions.”

    The SSPCA was part of Scotland’s independent fireworks review group and a spokesman for the charity told H&H the organisation is encouraged by the public support in the consultation and will continue to work with the Scottish Government.

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