Animal welfare considered in Hinckley for Bonfire Night

Mason Moore | Hinckley Reporter | 4 November 2020

COUNCIL BOSSES at Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council have reminded residents to be mindful and considerate of the welfare of animals tomorrow night on Bonfire Night.

Fireworks (Unsplash)

Due to England heading into a lockdown on Thursday 5 November at 12.01am, public firework displays will be unable to be held this year. This means that more Hinckley residents will be inclined to hold their own ‘DIY’ displays from their back gardens.

In a pre-cautionary message before the displays are held and the fireworks are set off tomorrow evening, Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council have issued a reminder to their residents to remember animals become easily distressed by the bangs caused by fireworks.

Hinckley’s Councillor for Climate Change comments

Councillor Martin Cartwright, Executive Member for Climate Change, Licensing, Environmental Health and Rural Affairs, said: “We are aware that due to local and now national lockdown guidelines people may be tempted to celebrate events such as Bonfire Night, Diwali, New Year’s Eve with fireworks in their back garden rather than attending organised events.

“We urge families to be careful when they are around fireworks and bonfires, especially with children. Please read the Fireworks Code to ensure you remain safe.

“This has been a very difficult year and we do not want to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of the celebrations, but some people may not be aware of the anxiety or danger that may be created for vulnerable people and animals due to fireworks.

“The noise can be very intimidating to both the elderly and children. Animals, both pets and livestock, can be absolutely terrified of the unexplained, sudden noises.

“Please play your part, stay safe and think of others in the coming weeks.”

RSPCA issue statement

Animals and pets do not take well to the loud noises caused by fireworks, become anxious, scared, upset, and easily distressed by the repetitive bangs caused by fireworks.

The RSPCA, the United Kingdom’s largest animal welfare charity, fear that Bonfire Night could be ‘the worst in decades for animals’ as more people are opting for DIY home displays.

In a statement, Animal Welfare Expert at RSPCA, Dr Mark Kennedy, explained: “We understand that people enjoy celebrating Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve and other key dates with fireworks and we don’t want to spoil the fun.

“Unfortunately, lockdown measures this year mean that very few organised, public displays are likely to go ahead and we suspect this means lots of families will be choosing to have their own displays at home.

“We’d urge people to be considerate and keep neighbours with animals, including those with nearby horses and other livestock, informed of plans well in advance so they can make preparations to reduce the stress to their animals.”

Safety tips

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) have issued the following safety tips for those who are holding their own DIY displays tomorrow.

  • Check the times as to when it is legal to set fireworks off
  • Only buy fireworks bearing the ‘CE’ certification mark
  • Keep them in a closed box and only use one at a time
  • Follow the instructions on each firework – a torch helps to read in the dark
  • Light the firework at arm’s length with a taper and keep your distance
  • Keep naked flames, including cigarettes, away from fireworks
  • Never return to a firework once it has been lit
  • Do not throw fireworks or put them in pockets
  • Direct rocket fireworks well away from spectators
  • Never use paraffin or petrol on a bonfire
  • Make sure that the fire is put out once the display has finished
  • Ensure the surroundings are made safe before leaving

Why we celebrate

The event, also known as ‘Guy Fawkes Night’, is held to remember Guy Fawkes’ failed aim to blow up the House of Lords and assassinate King James I back in 1605. The plan was named ‘the Gunpowder Plot’.

Fawkes and his team, who failed in their attempts, were caught, and executed for treason.

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