Every year, thousands of animals suffer stress and anxiety caused by the use of fireworks. The Scottish SPCA has been aware of incidents over the years of animals coming to harm, or even death, as a result of fireworks.
We have supported tighter restrictions on the public use of fireworks for years. We have worked closely with the Scottish Government to improve animal welfare surrounding the use of fireworks.
In 2019 the Scottish Government held a public consultation on the views and use of fireworks and showed that an overwhelming majority of respondents want to see tougher restrictions on the private use of fireworks.
Our animal helpline receives calls each year from concerned pet owners who can see their animal is in distress due to fireworks.
Members of the public also contact us with regards to farm animals trying to escape from their shelter or field and getting themselves injured in the process.
How to keep animals safe around fireworks
- Do not walk your dog at a time when fireworks are being set off. Make sure this is done earlier in the day, preferably when it is still light.
- Bring all pets, including outdoor pets such as rabbits, indoors and ensure they are comfortable and warm.
- Horses should be moved to stables where they cannot escape.
- If your pet seems restless, moving from room to room, allow them the freedom to do this. Do not force them to stay in one place, even if you hope to comfort them. It could be a sign they are looking for a safe space.
- Make sure doors, windows and cat-flaps are closed so your pet doesn’t get scared and run away.
- Ensure dogs are not left at home alone.
- If you have purchased fireworks for your own display, inform your neighbours so they can take the necessary precautions to limit exposure to their pets.
- If your dog is anxious around fireworks, do not, under any circumstances, take them to a fireworks display.
- Be considerate. Check your garden for any unsuspecting wildlife and clear away all debris caused by fireworks.
- If you are organising an event that includes a bonfire, thoroughly check the pile for wildlife before setting alight.
- We would encourage the public to attend organised displays only to help limit the number of events taking place across Scotland.
- If you see anyone using fireworks with the intent to cause harm, report them immediately to Police Scotland on 101.
Find out about our multi-agency fireworks campaign #FireworkSafety here.
Download our #FireworkSafety poster to display to urge people to be safe around animals kept in farms or country parks. Just click on the below image.