Sainsbury’s praised by welfare charities for not selling fireworks

Animal welfare charities have praised a Sainsbury’s decision to stop selling fireworks.

With bonfire night and Diwali approaching, the supermarket chain, which has around 2,200 stores across the UK, including Argos and convenience stores, will not be stocking fireworks.

The decision has been widely cited online as a response to animal welfare and safety concerns, but Sainsbury’s would not confirm this when contacted by H&H.

A spokesman for the store said it was owing to a “range of factors”, but would not go into detail.

Fireworks are no longer available in our stores but customers can continue to choose from a range of seasonal products, such as glow sticks and light-up spinning wands,” he added.

Caroline Shuttleworth, of retail and shopper marketing campaign group Savvy Thinking, told BBC Breakfast the expense involved in selling fireworks could be one of the factors behind the decision. This expense comes from fact fireworks are kept in cabinets that require a staff member to open them, plus the age verification process, both of which are costly on staff time.

But regardless of the reasons, the decision has been largely praised by charities supporting veterans as well as animal welfare organisations.

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“The recent Sainsbury’s ban of the sale of fireworks addresses the problem at the next level,” World Horse Welfare’s chief executive Roly Owers told H&H.

“While it is certainly a step in the right direction unless all other the retail stores follow suit, government legislation remains the only practical option.”

The RSPCA and Redwing’s Horse Sanctuary have also welcomed the news, as has Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veteran servicemen and women’s mental health.

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