Spark of joy for animal welfare after recommendations for fireworks

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed recommendations set out by the Scottish government’s Fireworks Review Group yesterday (November 3) as a positive step for animal health and welfare in Scotland.

The group’s report, presented in a statement to the Scottish Parliament ahead of Bonfire Night, acknowledges the need for a “fundamental shift” in how fireworks are accessed and used in Scotland and recommends prompt implementation of 11 comprehensive measures.

The recommendations include:
  • The introduction of mandatory conditions when fireworks are purchased from retailers;
  • Restricting the times of day fireworks can be sold and volume of fireworks that can be purchased at any one time;
  • Restricting the days and times fireworks can be set off;
  • The introduction of no firework areas or zones;
  • The creation of a proxy purchasing offence to prevent adults from buying fireworks on behalf of those under the age of 18.

BVA Scottish branch president Kathleen Robertson represented the views of the veterinary profession on the inter-disciplinary group.

‘A welcome step’

Responding to the launch of the report, Robertson said:

“The report’s recommendations are a welcome step towards positive and much-needed change in fireworks controls in Scotland.

“It was a privilege to be the voice of the veterinary profession on this inter-disciplinary review group. The regulation of fireworks is a real ‘One Health’ issue that impacts the health and welfare of animals, humans and our environment.

The loud and high-pitched noises from fireworks can be extremely traumatic for animals, and vets see first-hand the impact of firework-related distress at this time of the year.

“The BVA has long supported calls for overhauling the current controls on the use and sale of fireworks, which we feel don’t go far enough to protect the health and welfare of animals in Scotland and across the UK.

“We look forward to seeing the report’s recommendations implemented by the Scottish government as soon as possible,” she concluded.