FIREWORKS SURVEY DATA SHARED WITH MARCO LONGHI MP
Due to the forthcoming New Years Eve Celebrations we thought this was an important topic to revisit.
Back in November we received nearly 3000 responses to the survey we ran recently on how horses were affected by fireworks. I’m pleased to say that David then passed this data on to MP Marco Longhi who has been looking into the issue of fireworks.
This was his response:
Dear Dr Marlin,
Thank you for contacting me about fireworks and the offer of more information. I would like to take a look at your evidence.
I have been really encouraged by the participation in the survey I’m conducting, which is helping me get a better understanding of people’s views on fireworks.
While some people enjoy the use of fireworks on special occasions, I appreciate that others do not like them. Fireworks can, of course, be dangerous and so I am glad the use and sale of them is controlled but I want to explore options that can help better protect people and animals.
I understand concerns about the distress noisy fireworks can cause to pets, livestock and wildlife. This is one of the reasons that there is a noise level limit of 120 decibels on fireworks for home use. However, even at this level fireworks noise can be distressing to some animals and this is something I certainly want to explore further.
I know that, regrettably, some people suffer injuries during the fireworks season and these injuries are around 1,000 per year. In addition, I have seen some distressing acts of cruelty against animals and it’s tragic events like this that push me to explore what I can do as an elected member – this could include, assessing the measures in the Explosives Act 1875 or reviewing the Pyrotechnic Articles (Safety) Regulations (2010).
I am pleased the Office for Product Safety and Standards has engaged with a wide range of views to develop an evidence base on the key issues that have been raised around fireworks including noise, as well as anti-social behaviour, non-compliance, environmental impact, and the impact on humans and animals. This work produces useful data on fireworks which can be used to identify what further action is necessary.
Whatever approach is taken I think it is important to understand that a total ban could lead to an unregulated ‘black market’ in illegal fireworks and could encourage people to produce their own dangerous homemade devices.
I want to work with all sides to find a solution which helps safeguard more people, including veterans and people who suffer PTSD as well as protecting animals.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Marco Longhi MP