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Ban the Bang!
2008 Campaign Update

Under Investigation ... 16 captive birds killed due to firework display:

Ban the Bang! have been informed from a reliable source that 16 birds died at a falconry centre in 2005 due to a firework display taking place just outside its perimiter. We will add more details after a fuller investigation at a later date.

Firework display held inside an animal park ... Yes, we didn't believe it ourselves at first.
Ban The Bang pressure cancels display ... Here is an important statement:

The protest began in October 2006 when a Ban The Bang voter alerted us of an event in Beale (Animal and Wildlife) Park, Reading in Berkshire, and at first we thought we were being wound up. It seemed completely unfeasible that a loud firework display was to be held inside an area full of captive animals.
But alas, it turned out to be true.
We wrote a polite letter to the park explaining to them that an establishment in charge of hundreds of animals presenting a loud aerial firework display is a grossly irresponsible activity, and sends out an entirely inappropriate message to the public, as well as obviously causing stress to their animals and birds. We also politely suggested that they at least switch their display arrangements in favour of responsible, peaceful fireworks (no-noise, low level). A "peaceful" display would also send out the appropriate message and therefore educate their visitors as well as their own staff about the use of fireworks around animals. Of course, we never received a reply from Beale Park and neither a reply to a second polite letter that mentioned we would be informing our voters of the situation.
Thereafter, the voters and the wonders of the web grapevine steered the events that followed. Beale Park simply switched of their email and ignored the mails of complaint from ordinary, law abiding people.

Then, Beale Park announced the cancellation of their display.
However, judging by the wording on Beale Park's website regarding the cancellation, they did, and probably still misunderstand the gravity of their actions; the inappropriateness of holding a firework display within the confines of an animal park - or indeed anywhere near one.
The reason they cancelled was not because they woke-up to common-sense regarding the safety of the animals and birds - Instead, they said they had cancelled because they are "not in a position to guarantee the safety of those attending the event". In other words they were suggesting that protesters may cause spectators physical harm.
This was of course an offensive, sweeping accusation, since it is a majority of ordinary, peaceful people who are actually opposing such irresponsible displays - mothers, fathers, children, doctors, teachers, lawyers, the elderly, business professionals and numerous upstanding citizens from all walks of life. But to justify their decision, Beale Park conjured up visions of raging animal rights militants attacking their customers. It seems the park was deliberately trying to initiate a media fuelled counter-attack on the well-meaning actions of thousands of ordinary people.
The tone of their announcement, and the despicable way they spun their PR with the local media only showed that they are intent on protecting their own pride and profits rather than their animals. By also suggesting police involvement via the parochial mentality of local news reports, such arrogance also stirs up negative reactions towards peaceful campaigns and law-abiding individual's concerned for animal welfare. At the same time, this puts caring, law-abiding organizations into disrepute, being those they should in fact be supporting.

If however there are any animal groups or individuals who have threatened Beale Park with active violence, either at that time or in the future etc, then Ban the Bang wishes to make it clearly known that it has absolutely no connection with such parties, and that all our correspondence with Beale Park has been polite but firm.

Beale Park delivers corporate-style hogwash in their statement when justifying their firework display, saying that they carefully monitor the species residing in their park, based on the advice and experience of their dedicated team of curators. Realistically and in plain language, all evidence shows that animals actually suffer greatly from fireworks, even a mile away from such huge events.

As they are refuting arguments about the suffering of animals near fireworks, it intially appears that Beale Park will attempt to pursue firework displays in the future, and you are advised to keep an eye on their intentions each year. In the meantime, Ban the Bang will continue our peaceful, non-threatening, non-killjoy work. Our mission is to permanently remove the threat of fireworks and air displays from zoos / animal parks and similar environmentally sensitive areas, and will continue to campaign for what is purely a common-sense restriction.

Thank you to all who have peacefully supported us with this action.

2007/8 Update: Beale Park appear to have learnt their lesson, with no firework display held there in 2007 and hopefully so far in 2008. Let's hope that any other animal parks or indeed any firework displays near animal enclosures take heed. Such thoughtless insensitivity will not be tolerated by the more compassionate general public.

Finally
To put this absurd behaviour by any animal park holding a firework display into clear perspective, in a Czech zoo during early October 2006, three young giraffes died when a power cut spooked them into a panic. As the lights flickered on and off while power was attempted to be restored, the animals thrashed back and forth, banging their heads until they died of their injuries.
Now imagine what multiple flashes and ear-damaging bangs are doing to animals in any zoo or wildlife park with fireworks (or even air displays, which some others also put on).

The Born Free Foundation are also liaising with us as regards inappropriate entertainment activities being held at zoos and wildlife parks. If you know of any other zoo or animal park holding a firework display (or air display) please also inform them via this link.
Plus, inform Ban the Bang after
voting

New Ban the Bang! posters
You can now download a choice of two posters. One in colour and one in plain text. Ban the Bang! suggests that you print these out and display them in veterinary practices, schools, colleges, riding schools, animal rescue centers and similar places.
Click here for the poster page.

VOTE HERE - Read the proposals then vote to Ban The Public Sale of Fireworks that Bang

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What Else Can You Do To Help?

Practice the Ban The Bang! firework code which brings peace to your neighbourhood ... for animals and communities in general.
During firework celebrations, only buy fireworks which don't pose a threat to wildlife, neighbourhood pets or local residents. I.e. nothing that bangs or screams and no aerial fireworks like rockets or starbursts.
If you have lots of trees in your garden then it's not a good idea to have any kind of aerial type fireworks. Birds are quietly roosting in trees all around you at night. Just because you can't hear or see them doesn't mean they don't exist after sunset!
Even if you are planning a "quite" firework display, INFORM ALL YOUR NEIGHBOURS WITH PETS WELL IN ADVANCE

Protecting your own pets.
First of all, If available in your country, get your cat or dog microchipped. As we have already mentioned, many cats and dogs run away from home in panic when there are fireworks around and often get lost. With a microchip implant it's far easier to reunite an animal with its owner. Animals have extremely heightened senses compared to humans and can react to disturbances (threat) way beyond the human "radar". This means that even our additional advice given below can often proove useless when trying to keep your animal's nerves at bay during the ever-lengthening firework season. However, some of these tips may help alleviate stress with lesser effected companion animals.
Although it is clear that firework celebrations are lasting weeks instead of just a couple of days, do whatever you can to keep your cats and dogs indoors during firework seasons. If you have animals in hutches outside and can't move them indoors, then cover the hutches with heavy blankets (leaving a suitable air-gap). This will help reduce the noise and the animal should also remain undisturbed by flashing lights. Keep cats and dogs indoors, close windows and blinds and create an audible diversion for them, like turning on some music - this should be reasonably loud but soothing sounds to try and divert the animal's attention from the outside).Very many Ban the Bang! voters have commented that they have to sedate their companion animals as a last resort. (Even this has not helped many pets). If you intend to take sedatory steps you must only do so with your vet's advice and only administer the correct medication provided by your vet.

Wild animals and birds that are shocked or injured.
Keep an eye out for animals and birds in shock that may have fallen from trees. In most cases human intervention will add to the animals distress and we recommend you keep a watchful distance from the animal / bird and make sure no one else goes near it. If the animal continues to behave in a shocked state for more than three or four hours
or is clearly injured then you should alert your local animal welfare organization as soon as possible. They will send someone to investigate further.
Important Note: Tell your local animal welfare organisation to link up free with
The Lost and Found Animals Network (LaFAN). If an animal is lost through fright during firework activities, LaFAN provides a simple method for the public to track down a rescue place in the vicinity of their lost animal. The LaFAN website address is http://www.looking-glass.co.uk/lafan

Keep a check on the elderly and young children.
The elderly are particularly susceptible to loud disturbances. They often live alone and have pets which can become nervous and agitated by the noises. It's a good idea to check on elderly neighbours if you think they or their pets may be suffering during firework periods.
Very young children also need comforting at night during loud firework activity as they often wake up frightened by the bangs outside.

If you are aware of any incidents involving the suffering of any animals through the use of fireworks then please use our contact page

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