Guy Fawkes: care for animals by going to a public fireworks display

Guy Fawkes Day is coming up (5 November).

This year, care for animals by going to a public fireworks display – and don’t buy fireworks from the shops.

Every year, veterinary clinics see animals injured and traumatised by fireworks. These include pets, wildlife and stock. Some injuries are horrific. Fireworks can also cause severe anxiety and stress in animals – psychological harm that has a huge impact on animal welfare.

“We encourage people to view a public fireworks display, instead of buying fireworks for private use. Fewer fireworks may reduce the negative impact on animals,” says Helen Beattie, the New Zealand Veterinary Association’s Chief Veterinary Officer.

“The NZVA supports a ban on the private sale of fireworks, because we believe a ban will improve the welfare of animals who find fireworks stressful. We also encourage people to continue to speak up on this issue – and speak loudly for the animals, since they can’t speak for themselves.

“The NZVA supports moves like the one recently made by Countdown, who have stated they won't sell fireworks this year, a move the supermarket chain says is because of a change in public sentiment, mainly over animal welfare concerns,” says Dr Beattie.

New Zealand’s Animal Welfare Act is world-leading, because it acknowledges animals experience pain and distress – and they are sentient (can have positive and negative psychological experiences).

“Our society has a responsibility to minimise physical and mental harm to animals, including harm caused by fireworks.”