No need for firework displays to go off with a bang, says Brown, in run-up to Halloween

Alliance Animal Welfare spokesperson Patrick Brown MLA has said that traditional firework displays must be better regulated and policed, especially in the run-up to Halloween, given the adverse affects they can have on both animals and people.

Patrick Brown animal welfare

It was revealed in the RSPCA’s ‘Bang Out of Order’ campaign that in 2018 alone they received 411 calls for firework related issues, that over 50% of cats, dogs and horses show signs of distress in response to fireworks, with horses in particular risking injury to themselves or even motorists from bolting as a result.


Nearly 30,000 people also responded to a UK Government consultation on firework regulation in 2019, with over 70% stating that the effect of noise on animals concerned them. Research from the RSCPA also highlighted the impact fireworks can have on humans, including military veterans or anyone with gunshot-related PTSD, as well as some children and adults with autism.


The South Down MLA has said: “Whilst we recognise the importance of traditional firework displays in bringing communities together at this time of year, there is no reason why these events have to go off with a ‘bang’.


“Instead, community groups, councils, and individuals putting on displays should consider investing in ‘silent’ fireworks or laser displays, which can be a much more inclusive and animal-friendly option whilst maintaining the same visual and aesthetic appeal. These displays often cost the same or even less than traditional fireworks, without the added drawbacks of noise pollution and the potential impact on the well-being of others in the community.


“As Alliance’s Animal Welfare spokesperson, I will be exploring ways to better regulate the sale and use of fireworks in Northern Ireland through fresh legislation once the Executive returns. However, in the meantime, we would urge everyone to consider the impact fireworks can have on vulnerable animals and groups of people, especially at this time of the year.”