4 in 5 pet owners call for stricter fireworks laws

  • By Caroline Denholm

Animal lovers want to see tighter controls on how fireworks are sold and set off.

As Bonfire Night approaches, 70 percent of animal lovers revealed that they think fireworks should only be allowed at controlled or licensed events while 15 percent want to see bangers barred altogether.

Millions of Brits are set to mark the 412th anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot next weekend (5/11) with over £350 million expected to be spent on firework celebrations across the UK this year.

But with some fireworks reaching sound levels of 150 decibels, they’re enough to spook many of our four-legged friends.

And because they are let off at various times of the night, three-quarters of UK pet owners want to see stricter rules on the times that fireworks can be lit, while seven in ten back tighter regulations on sales of gunpowder products to children, according to new research by

Over half of those polled said they had experienced many negative reactions from their pets during bonfire night, including 32 percent who whined, 24 percent who barked and 6 percent of animals who ran away.

For some owners, things got much worse as 5 percent of pets damaged household furniture and 3 percent were injured by fireworks.

But it does seem that some Brits are taking special precautions when it comes to our beloved pets, on Bonfire Night or New Year’s Eve.

Half of owners say they would leave music or the TV on as a distraction, 35 percent would give their pet a new toy, 31 percent would over-exercise their pet to tire them out before the banging began and 7 percent even resort to homeopathic formulas to comfort their furry friend.

However, 5 percent of those quizzed, said they take their pet to firework displays, while 16% have had their own fireworks at home, despite owning an animal.

Sadly, 6 percent of respondents witnessed animal cruelty involving fireworks.

Westley Pearson, managing director of, said: “It’s important to remember that your pets may be severely distressed on and around November 5.

“They may show signs of fear such as drooling, panting, whining or they may run around in a bid to escape the noises. The best thing to do is make sure they’re indoors and keep them company wherever possible. It’s good to see that people are trying things like turning up the TV to distract their pets from any loud bangs outside.

“If they’re still distressed, it’s a good idea to visit your vet, who may advise on some sedatives to help your pet cope during this stressful time.”

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