For this month’s campaign, we’re staying close to home and talking about fireworks in Scotland. The Scottish Government is currently gathering views on the use and regulation of fireworks; if you live in Scotland, now is the time to have your say. Follow the link to tell them what you think.
The problem with fireworks
A sky filled with fireworks is spectacular, so bright and colourful; but they have a dark side. Here’s four reasons why we may want to rethink our use.
- They terrify animals. The excessive noise and bright lights are scary for animals that don’t know what they are or when to expect them. While it is possible to take precautions for pets before large planned displays – read more in our blog here – it isn’t for sporadic personal fireworks that go off any time. Spooked animals are likely to flee which could result in them getting lost, injured or even dying.
- They pollute the air. Fireworks leave our air filled with metal particles, toxins, harmful chemicals and smoke for days. These pollutants can stay in the environment, contaminating our soils and water supplies as well as contributing to health problems.
- They release CO2. Fireworks release considerable amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere during firework displays, which contributes to climate change.
- They are a safety risk. While most people enjoy fireworks safely, misuse can result in life-threatening injuries and burns. They are also a fire hazard.
What are the regulations around fireworks in Scotland?
If you are over 18 in the UK, you can buy fireworks for personal use. For most of the year, only licensed shops can sell them, but they are available from registered sellers at certain times, such as around Guy Fawkes night and New Year’s Eve. Except for Guy Fawkes night, New Year’s Eve, Diwali and Chinese New Year when the laws are different, it is illegal to set fireworks off between 11 pm and 7 am. You are also not allowed to throw or set off fireworks on the street or in public places.
What are the Scottish Government asking?
In an attempt to increase safety and prevent disturbances to people and animals, the Scottish Government is collecting views on the use of fireworks in Scotland. This includes the sale of fireworks, current regulations and possible improvements.
Have your say and give a voice to the animals!