Council motion calls for quieter, more animal friendly firework displays
28 November 2019
Neath Port Talbot Council has approved a motion calling for noise limits and tougher restrictions on firework displays to prevent fear and distress among people and domestic and wild animals.
The cross-party motion, approved by a full meeting of Neath Port Talbot Council on Wednesday (November 27th), said: “Fireworks are used by people throughout the year to mark different events. While they can bring much enjoyment to some people, they can cause significant problems and fear for other people and animals.
“They can be a source of fear and distress for many animals (including pet animals, farm livestock and wildlife). Animals affected not only suffer psychological distress but can also cause themselves injuries – sometimes very serious ones – as they attempt to run away or hide from the noise.”
The motion said the following are significant concerns:
- The unpredictable, loud and high intensity noises that many fireworks make can cause fear.
- Debris produced by fireworks if found on the ground, can also post a hazard to animals, such as horses and farm livestock.
- The short lived nature of firework noise can make it difficult for the police or local authority officers to pinpoint locations and take action.
- There is a need to raise awareness amongst owners of animals about fireworks phobias.
The motion calls for further research to properly understand the impact of noise on animals and says a number of things can be done to improve the situation for animals and people by:
* Introducing a limit on the public use of fireworks on or close to specific dates and times.
* Tightening restrictions on the sale of fireworks in the run up to Bonfire Night.
* Reducing the maximum noise level of fireworks sold to the public, ensuring they are labelled accurately.
* Licensing all public firework displays – and ensuring displays are better advertised to the public.
In approving the motion the Council resolved:
· To require all public firework displays held on local authority land and/or which are subject to the consent of the Local Authority to be advertised in advance of the event, allowing residents to take precautions for their animals and vulnerable people.
· To actively promote a public awareness campaign about the impact of fireworks on animal welfare and vulnerable people – including the precautions that can be taken to mitigate risks.
· To write to the Welsh Government urging it to use any levers at its disposal to mitigate any negative impacts on animals and vulnerable people from the hosting of fireworks displays.
· To write to the UK Government urging it to introduce legislation to limit the maximum noise level of fireworks to 90dB for those sold to the public for private displays.
· To encourage local suppliers of fireworks to stock ‘quieter’ fireworks for public display.