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RSPCA responds to latest government fireworks statement

The RSPCA is disappointed that, despite overwhelming public opposition, a written statement has revealed the UK Government is considering allowing members of the public to continue using fireworks that reach noise levels equivalent to a jet aircraft taking off (120 decibels).

Last year thousands of animals were killed, injured or distressed because they were frightened of fireworks. The RSPCA believes that continuing to allow noise levels of 120 decibels will not sufficiently protect pets and wildlife.

Steve Cheetham, the RSPCA's chief veterinary officer, said: "The RSPCA is extremely disappointed that, despite the huge public support for our campaign to get a maximum noise level of 95 decibels, we have been ignored.

"The Society welcomes the news that private displays will not be allowed to take place between the hours of 11pm and 7am. However, if noise levels are not significantly lowered, pet owners will still have to protect their pets during the permitted times and many will have to continue to sedate their pets. We believe it would make a significant difference if the public were only allowed to use fireworks of 95 decibels - equivalent to a book being dropped on a table at one metre - or less at their own displays.

"We know the public is in support of our calls for a noise reduction because in a recent Mori poll, 81 per cent of the public agreed that the louder fireworks should only be allowed at public displays."

The RSPCA is currently in the middle of a national advertising campaign gathering text votes and personalised messages in support of firework noise reduction to the Prime Minister from members of the public.  In its first week the campaign has received an overwhelming response with more than 1000 personalised messages to Tony Blair. To take part, simply text the word FIRE6 to 60022 and the RSPCA will pass on your vote to Tony Blair. The inbox will be open until Saturday 8 May 2004.