Government refuses call for firework ban
THE GOVERNMENT has refused to consider a ban on the retail sale of fireworks despite an online petition attracting over 2,500 signatures - and a hand delivered petition of over 129,000 signatures – calling upon the Government to ban the retail sale of fireworks by allowing the purchase of fireworks for displays only, thus alleviating distress to pets from the nuisance caused by fireworks around the traditional Bonfire Night period in early November.
The petition, submitted by an individual named ‘Paul V’ read: ‘‘We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Prohibit The Sale Of Fireworks To The Public. Allow the sale of fireworks to organisers of (licensed) public displays only in order to curb the number of accidents caused every year by something that is little more than a flimsily constructed explosive device. This action would also have the benefit of saving distress to many pets for weeks around the traditional 'fireworks night'.’
At the close of the petition, the Government posted its response which read as follows:
‘Some people have called for a ban on the sale of fireworks to the general public thereby restricting fireworks use to licensed fireworks displays. The Government does not believe a case has been made for such a measure. The proportion of fireworks used in relation to the injuries sustained does not, at present, justify a special regulation to ban fireworks use on safety grounds.
‘Furthermore, there is the potential risk that a ban could lead to a black market in fireworks and could also encourage people to produce homemade devices. Whereas fireworks sold to the British public must comply with strict safety standards (BS 7114), fireworks sold on the black market or those that are homemade could lead to serious and even fatal accidents, which is currently not the norm. There have been no fatalities from the use of fireworks in the UK for more than five years. When used sensibly and with consideration for others, fireworks are a very popular form of entertainment for the majority of the population. Such a measure would be regarded not only as disproportionate, but also draconian.’
Last year, Veteran anti-fireworks campaigner Teresa Kulkarni threw her support behind the petition and urged everyone concerned about firework nuisance to sign it.
Teresa handed in a massive petition to 10 Downing Street, containing 129,387 signatures, calling upon the Government to similarly restrict firework sales.
She commented on the Government’s latest refusal to countenance a ban: ‘Pathetic. I’m not at all surprised. It makes you wonder just what it will take to get them to take this seriously. How many more animals – and people – must suffer because of firework misuse until the sale of these harmful explosives is stopped?’