Public urged to consider animal welfare during New Year celebrations

News / Sat 31st Dec 2022 at 11:12am

THE RSPCA is reminding members of the public to consider the needs of animals and their welfare as we prepare to welcome in 2023.

Fireworks are a common part of New Year’s festivities – but many animals can find them deeply distressing, and the RSPCA is reminding the public of the many practical steps which can be taken to help protect their welfare.

Pet owners have been urged to plan ahead, with action such as sound-proofing and the provision of safe enclosures all able to help reduce firework phobia among companion animals across England and Wales.

The RSPCA has been running its #BangOutOfOrder campaign for many years and is calling on the UK Government to urgently review firework regulations. As part of the campaign, a number of local authorities have also taken measures within their communities to mitigate the risk fireworks pose to animals.

Shelley Phillips, RSPCA campaigns manager, said: “As many of us celebrate the start of 2023, the festivities can also be stressful for many animals – including our pets.

“We’d like to direct those who are worried about their pets to look at our guidance online so they can hopefully undertake some measures to keep their pets safe, and to ease their pets’ fear of loud noises.

“From making sure dogs and cats are indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off, to masking firework noises, and providing pets with a safe place to hide at all times, it’s so important pet owners plan ahead.

“Small animals living outside should be provided with lots of extra bedding to allow for burrowing, whilst parts of their enclosure could be covered with a blanket to provide further sound-proofing and insulation.”

Horses, farm animals and wildlife can also be negatively affected by fireworks. The RSPCA continues to urge organisers of events to avoid letting off fireworks near where animals are kept. Horse owners should check to see if there are going to be any firework displays in their area, and talk to the organisers – explaining there are horses nearby and asking them to set off their fireworks well away from their horses and aimed in the opposite direction.

Equally the animal welfare charity urges people to use lower-noise fireworks which can make such a difference to make displays safer for everybody. 

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