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MPs vote to end fireworks misery

A major step towards preventing misery for thousands of people and animals was taken last week in the House of Commons.

The Fireworks Bill passed its second reading with cross-party and Government support. It was warmly welcomed by a consortium of twelve of the UK's leading animal welfare organisations including:The Blue Cross, The National Canine Defence League, Battersea Dogs Home, RSPCA, SSPCA, Pro-Dogs, The National Dog Wardens Association, Pet Care Trust, Wood Green Animal Shelters, Cats Protection, The Kennel Club and The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association.

Robin Hutchinson, Head of Communications for The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, comments:

"Today's success is very welcome indeed. The massive increase in the use of fireworks over the last few years continues to cause great distress and disruption to many thousands of people across the country. For many guide dog owners who are forced to sedate, re-train or even retire their dogs because of the irresponsible use of fireworks, today has come as a great relief."

Clarissa Baldwin, Chief Executive of The National Canine Defence League (NCDL), adds:

"Today is a great result for the millions of dogs in this country who are terrified of fireworks.

The NCDL whole heartedly backs this Bill. It is a leap forward in helping to alleviate the stress and terror felt by most dogs."

Chris Laurence, RSPCA Chief Veterinary Officer, says:

"We believe the success of today's Bill is a step forward in the right direction to ending the distress suffered by thousands of animals each year. We would like to see the Bill strengthened further still at Committee stage, with fireworks for public use reduced to 95 decibels."

Steve Goody, Director of Companion Animal Welfare at The Blue Cross says:

"This resounding vote means that MPs from all parties have recognised the time is right to reform fireworks rules. This is great news for our supporters and pet owners across the country."

OUR DOGS Chief Reporter Nick Mays will take a detailed look at the debate in next week’s issue.