Last month, a woman lost her dog in a tragic accident caused by firework noise. Fiona Longworth’s dog, Sol, ran away from her home near Dunbar, East Lothian when he heard a private firework display. The two-year-old rescue dog, who came from Spain, escaped from his collar and ran onto the A1 road, where he was hit by a car and killed.
Fireworks Cause Stress and Fear for Animals
Fiona, 47, said the noise was “unbelievable” and that there were too many fireworks going off at random times and places. She said Sol was her “baby” and her “companion” and that she was devastated by his death. She wants people to notify their neighbours if, they are planning to set off fireworks and also, wants the government to limit the sale and use of fireworks.
Fiona’s plea comes after a weekend of fireworks disorder in Scotland, where police and fire crews were attacked with fireworks and petrol bombs. The Scottish SPCA, an animal welfare charity, has expressed its support for Fiona and expressed, that fireworks cause stress and fear for many animals. According to the charity, they receive hundreds of calls every year from concerned animal owners and members of the public concerning fireworks. In addition, they also report that many animals suffer from injuries, burns, and even death as a result of fireworks.
New Rules on Fireworks are Not Enough
The Scottish government has already presented tighter rules on fireworks this year, such as banning its use between 11 pm and 7 am, except on some occasions. But, Fiona and the Scottish SPCA believe that more needs to be done in order to control further disasters and injuries. They are asking for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the public and, a restriction on their usage of licensed displays only. Further, they also want the Scottish government to launch a public awareness campaign to spread awareness on the effect of fireworks on animals and humans.
Expressing her feelings Fiona stated that she is hopeful that her story would make people think twice before setting off the fireworks and that they would respect the sentiments of others. She also mentions that she does not wish to see anyone else to go through the misery and loss that she has experienced and also stated that she will always remember Sol as a loving and loyal dog who brought joy to her life.
Interestingly, the Scottish government had already imposed various restrictions on fireworks before the tragic accident that killed Fiona’s dog. However, these restrictions were still not enough to prevent the harm and distress caused by fireworks to animals and other people. Therefore, the local authorities have gained new powers to form Fireworks control Zones, where using fireworks without a licence or a reasonable excuse is a crime. The new law also limits the sale and use of fireworks to specific times of the year, such as Guy Fawkes Day, Hogmanay, Diwali and Chinese New Year. The Scottish government is hopeful, that the new law will make people across Scotland much safer.