UK Fireworks ... 2014/15
The pressure continues to grow
Things still to do.
Animal parks still holding firework displays (unbelievably).
Nuisance neighbourood fireworks - some legal steps you can take.
campaign focused - avoiding multiple petitions and how you can help through social media.
based campaign continues to
run as a carefully defined solution which may help curtail the
destructive impact of fireworks - both in private and public use. Ban the Bang! has initiated a set of "non-killjoy" proposals with
the view of being adopted as law by many countries* where fireworks
continue to cause serious environmental and social problems.
Stress, injury and death caused to wild and domestic
animals and birds.
A range of debilitating effects triggered by
loud fireworks on a growing number of people from ALL age groups.
For over twelve years this campaign has compiled an unprecedented amount of
evidence; harrowing reports and stories which have been sent
to this site by desperate individuals, entire communities and of course wildlife and environmental
organisations. In 2014 we have also added a couple of extra areas;
information about firework pollution and also "In Memoriam", a
remembrance page where owners who have lost animals through
fireworks can leave a message.
FIREWORKS AND ANIMALS OBVIOUSLY DON'T
MIX, BUT ANIMAL PARKS STILL DEFY COMMON-SENSE.
We were successful in stopping a firework display inside a large
animal park some years back. However, some animal parks continue
this activity regardless. Ban The Bang repeats again that any establishment caring
for animals which puts on a firework display is a grossly
irresponsible action. It sends out an entiely inappropriate
message to the public as well as causing severe stress (as evidence
shows) to caged or fenced animals. It's worth noting that Ban the
Bang's specific proposals would automatically put a stop to firework
displays in or near areas where animals reside.
ADVICE WITH NEIGHBOURHOOD FIREWORK PROBLEMS
IN THE UK
For UK animal owners it’s worth pointing out that due
to a revised animal welfare bill in 2006 you do actually have a
little more legal weight to combat noisy firework neighbours if they
are knowingly causing distress to your animals:
In the worst case
scenario you would have the law on your side to report offending
neighbours and to take legal action. Such action theoretically comes
under the ruling that any form of deliberate suffering to an animal
is an offence. Hopefully your neighbours would accept your concerns
and the matter can be be resolved cordially. If not, and you have no
choice but to take it further, there's some practical advice later
in this update.
But first, it's wise to understand more of the
cultural magnitude regarding firework use in the UK.
Fireworks, not just for specific traditional celebration but also as
casual amusement, have traditionaly been a part of British-based cultures for
a very long time. Subsequently, the spectacle of fireworks is an
activity deeply ingrained into the average public mind-set. Because
of this, any social adjustment regarding fireworks to accommodate the changes in the
latest animal welfare law (which should now protect animals even
against fireworks) seems to be overlooked – even in the eyes of the
UK government (as Ban The Bang has discovered during research).
Therefore people who blast their way through boxes of extreme
fireworks next door to houses with petrified (often sedated) pets
and the surrounding wildlife are acting ignorantly to the legal
consequences ... knowingly or not. Because of vagueness as to what (sufferable) incidents the animal
welfare act applies to, the public's use of fireworks seems exempt
from what the law is supposed to be enforcing. Of course, policing of
all private firework displays would be daft and over-reactive ... and
more to the point, it would be impossible to prove that an
offence has occurred if there is no prior evidence that the
person letting off a loud firework “bomb” is aware of
the suffering caused at that moment. In other words, a direct
corelation between the act of loud firework use having a detrimental
impact on an animal a few houses away or a roosting group of birds
in a tree just metres above needs to be proven as an act of
aggression or purposeful suffering.
This means that it is left to you, the public, to take the
necessary legal steps to stop your neighbours from setting of loud
fireworks which are knowingly causing such distress to your own
Confronting neighbours can potentially be awkward, since
most wouldn't wish to raise a social issue in the first
place that has the potential to arouse local hostility. Therefore it's
important that you take a polite and diplomatic approach with
whatever kinds of neighbours you have. Diplomacy includes polite
suggestions in writing, which will also act as your evidence if
things aren't resolved in an agreeable manner:
notify your neighbours with a friendly "informal" letter explaining
to them that you have animal(s) which suffer distress due to
firework noise and ask them politely to refrain from setting off
loud, whizzing fireworks. At this point you should suggest in your
letter that it may be possible that your animal(s) might not react
badly to quiet, low-level fireworks which do not bang and whoosh. So
it's worth suggesting that they first experiment with a quiet
firework display option to see if this alleviates the problem. (It
also hints that you are not a kill-joy neighbour!). If your
neighbours agree and the quiet firework solution works this will
hopefully be the resolve you had wished for ... at
least regarding fireworks in close proximity.
If your neighbours
ignore your initial "informal" request, the next stage is to write once again in a more
official style and at the same time inform the local police that
the neighbours have ignored your first letter.
In your second,
formal letter, point out clearly that it is an offence to knowingly
cause animal suffering. Also give to the police copies of all your
correspondence. If you can, take video of your suffering animal(s)
during the firework disruption as evidence. If your neighbours
ignore your second official notification it is at this point that
they are more specifically breaking the law by knowingly causing
animal suffering, meaning you have a case to take legal action.
situation should never really get to this point, as we would all
hope that neighbourly understanding - in most cases - will result in
a more peaceful spectacle of friendly fireworks that may even make the most hard-core Mr and Mrs Angry's out there soften their
ranting and perhaps concede that as long as noiseless responsible fireworks
do not cause any distress to anybody - animal or human - we might
accept the customs and traditions of those who enjoy the spectacle of fireworks -
but only in the appropriate environment.
It's worth noting at
this point that throughout the years of this campaign - after
contacting firework manufacturers (who have not replied) - no
manufacturer has considered Ban The Bang’s idea of "peaceful
IMPORTANT ... KEEPING THE CAMPAIGN FOCUSED
Ban The Bang!
does not do Facebook, Twitter etc. Instead, please spread the word
yourself on social media platforms about
this campaign and pass on the Ban The Bang! website link, which is
www.looking-glass.co.uk/banthebang. This ensures that the votes and
reports received are compiled distinctively in a centralised and focused manner.
often individual attempts to create "ban firework" petitions, but
unfortunately knee-jerk protests (although with good intentions) without a foundation of long-term
administrative groundwork and research only dilutes the cause and
leaves it un-resolved. Ban the Bang specifically represents a
strongly weighted campaign with focused impact. This is achieved
through the gathering of
long-term public opinion and evidence, alongside offering a diplomatic
solution. It comprises of a researched set of principles and
manageable proposals designed to press upon relevant governments -
in a language they understand - while equally appealing to a vast majority of the public - whether they
love or hate fireworks.
Fireworks as a leisure activity is a complex and logistical
issue which requires ways to initiate a
painless-as-possible adjustment within the mind-sets of firework
lovers, governments and manufacturers. Therefore, if you feel
strongly about the issue of nuisance fireworks, and would like to
help keep the campaign strong and focused, simply use your social
media accounts to express your concerns and send your readers here
to vote Ban The Bang!
For UK residents, Ban the Bang must
stress once again that multiple emotionally-charged or kudos-driven
petitions, without strongly structured solutions, are extremely counterproductive. The firework problem in the
UK needs a consistent campaign with workable proposals. Therefore, Ban the Bang,
as the UK's largest continually administrated firework
campaign, is supported by animal, environmental
and care organisations, scientists and vets. Beside's campaigning for law changes, Ban the Bang
has successfully stopped inappropriate firework displays in a large UK animal
park. These and other associated actions of the campaign are the
result of a slow-but-sure peaceful movement towards a common-sense
and unified resolve. So please ensure that your vote for a truly effective firework
law is directed appropriately to help towards a better a chance of
success. Ban the Bang covers all countries worldwide which
are adversely effected by fireworks and votes are filed accordingly for
each region. UK votes and comments far outweigh any other country
and subsequently active lobbying and correspondence is directed
specifically at the UK government until this campaign has achieved
Although Ban the Bang is UK based, we advise all countries to
use this campaign as a voice and to vote. The Ban the Bang proposals
apply to all countries (although some do already have effective laws
in place). International votes are processed and administered
Ban The Bang! will have a more
pad/phone friendly layout in the near future, some pages may move
but the links to them will remain. So please stay tuned ... and with
the help of Ban The Bang! lets all hope for a more peaceful firework season in your neighbourhood
... for the sake of all animals and humans.
P.S. If you are in the
UK and reading this update weeks before Bonfire Night, then you have
obviously come here because fireworks are already causing problems
in your neighbourhood. Likewise, if you are reading this weeks after
Bonfire Night, quite obviously the disturbance is continuing ... and
probably until the New Year. Either way, Ban The Bang fully
understands your anxiety and we highly appreciate your vote. Let's
hope we will make a difference.
to 2013 News Update
Even more votes than ever ...
the Bang! promotes a set of "non-killjoy" proposals to
only ban and reduce the use of fireworks that cause distress to
animals and communities, there has been a growing number of comments
from people who have lost all patience and wish to see a total ban
of all fireworks. As the use of extremely powerful and loud fireworks
continues and seems to be increasing, it is no wonder that so many
voters unfortunately prefer an outright ban. If the relevant governments
in all countries where excessive firework activity is prevalent
do not impose an acceptable set of laws soon, (which still enables
some firework enjoyment without the nuisance), then there are more
justifiable reasons for a concerned public to call for an outright
ban. Ban the Bang! still hope that there is a way through which
pleases all, and we initially call upon manufacturers and suppliers
to stop selling loud and excessive fireworks to the public and ask
display organisers to be responsible by only locating their events
far away from areas that cause suffering to animals and wildlife.
the proposals then vote to Ban The Public Sale of Fireworks that
Fireworks ... 2009 Update
Increased vote frequency continues to show that firework use is
more extreme than ever before.
Bang the Bang!
vote frequency from UK voters during the entire year is showing
a significant rise over previous years, which so far indicates that
senseless, loud firework use is on the increase ... regardless of
any recent tightening of UK laws.
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
wildlife park holding a firework display every day throughout Christmas:
A Ban The Bang voter has informed
us about BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
which holds a firework display every night during the Christmas
season and has been doing so for the last eleven years. We checked
this claim for ourselves and found the information to be accurate.
Our advice to Canadians concerend about this is to politely write
to the park and point out the following:
Staging a loud aerial firework display in a place which is supposed
to care for the well-being of animals is irresponsible, and sends
out an entirely inappropriate message to the public, as well as
obviously causing stress to the wildlife park's animals and birds.
Fireworks and animals do not mix. Please urgently reconsider your
park's entertainment programme and switch to events which are far
more suitable for an animal-based environment.
the Bang! and LaFAN (Lost and Found Animals Network)
Ban the Bang!
(Looking-Glass and VeggieGlobal) has received public enquiries regarding
LaFAN, the same organisation's Lost and Found Animals Network. There
is general disappointment that hardly any animal rescue organisation
has so far joined this potentially highly effective countrywide
animal rescue link-up programme. LaFAN launched in the summer of
2007 and is simply designed to help reunite owners and animals by
allowing the public to quickly track down their local rescue places.
Unfortunately, even though LaFAN sent out hundreds of personal invitations
to animal rescue groups and even lost and found registers to participate,
it has had almost no response. Only three have joined. however,
within just a few weeks of these few joining the system, two dogs
where found via LaFAN and reunited with their owners. This proved
that LaFAN's simple back and forth linking system works flawlessly
and effectively, showing that if all the animal rescues with websites
linked in to LaFAN, thousands of lost animals each year will be
reunited with their owners quickly and efficiently.
We are of course very disappointed ourselves by the apathy displayed
by animal resue organisations towards such a simple life-protecting
programme like LaFAN, which is completely non-partisan, non-competitive
and free for everyone.
All we can suggest to our Ban The Bang! voters at this time is that
you contact your local rescue centre and ask them to take the obvious
steps and participate in LaFAN asap. There is no excuse for any
lack of participation, and at the peak of firework season with so
many animals becoming lost from firework fright, common-sense should
surely prevail to ensure that the public have a quick, uncomplicated
way to track down and check their local rescue place's lost and
found webpage for lost animals - or to report a lost animal.
Please ask your local rescue to visit either:
and apply free to LaFAN .
Flash ... November 2006
Firework display held inside an animal park (Yes, we didn't believe
it at first either)
Ban the Bang
successfully (and we must emphasise - peacefully) put a stop to
a huge firework display that was going to be held inside an Animal
Park (yes, you heard that right ... a firework display in an animal
park - we know it sounds absurd!) The appalling manner in which
Beale Park in Reading, Berkshire, UK announced its cancellation
and subsequent defamatory press statements leaves a lot to be desired
as you can
read here. But
first please read the lead-up to this below.
It all began
when we received a disturbing letter in late October from a supporter
in the Reading area of the UK telling us about a huge firework display
taking place on the 4th November at an animal and wildlife park.
Yes, you read that right ... a firework display inside a park which
homes hundreds of animals and birds. Although we first wondered
if the correspondence was a "wind-up" through its unbelievable claim,
we were appalled to learn that the allegation was true.
An animal park
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. Ban the Bang! has campaigned for over 5 years to ban fireworks
that cause distress to animals and also presents sensible, non-killjoy
proposals. In that time we have compiled a huge dossier of incidents
describing death, injury and loss of wildlife and pets, (including
animal death from firework displays near sanctuaries), all which
indisputably proves the link between animal suffering and excessive
fireworks. (Read the comment pages on Ban the Bang!).
We wrote twice
to Beale Park on Monday (30th Oct) with polite suggestions asking
them to at least (at this short notice) 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. We gave them till 10.30am
Tue 31st Oct to respond. Beale Park didn’t even have the courtesy
If you read
Beal Park's “about us” page on their website you would be given
the impression of a tranquil, responsible charity providing an ideal
haven for rare birds and animals. But if you had seen the front
page of their site, (before it was removed) the commentary of “Bangs,
pops and whizzes accompany the bright lights over Beale Park” sent
out a ludicrously contradictory message. These kind of commercialised
wildlife attractions are often focussed to pull in money through
fun events. Fairground rides and puppet shows are fine ... Huge firework
displays (of any kind) at a zoo / animal park are contemptible,
irresponsible and life threatening, and show no consideration for
the animals in their keep.
read the follow-up to this incident here
UK laws make no difference
(updated from 2004/5)
2006, Ban the Bang! has been busy making enquiries and discussing
with various government departments in England and Scotland regarding
the new animal welfare laws. The response from government relating
to our concerns was at best incomprehensible and at worst showing
an entire lack of understanding as to how fireworks play such an
integral role in relation to animal suffering. While Ban the Bang continue to establish a direct
link between animal suffering and fireworks, the relevant government
departments fail to determine how this can be implied in an animal
welfare law so that threatening fireworks can be banned!
the UK firework season kicked off again in October/ November 2004
it became soon apparent that new restrictions brought into effect
earlier in the year had not curbed irresponsible use of fireworks
in any way.
From midnight 10 October 2004 it became an offence for under 18's
to possess fireworks in public areas. Offenders face an instant,
£80 fine. Those who refuse to pay the fines would face an increased
penalty of £120, court action and eventually jail if they fail to
pay up. Police now retain the power to prosecute the most serious
offenders with penalties of a £5,000 fine as well as six months
the last year and into November 2005 reports clearly indicated that
the new laws are not deterring firework users from irresponsible
use. "Ban the Bang!" continues to receive correspondence
relating to disturbances from the misuse of fireworks at the same
volume as before the new laws came into effect. Even with new laws
in place, the New Year period of 2005 was as busy as ever for Ban
the Bang!, receiving the usual number of votes as irresponsible
housholders set off inappropriately loud fireworks well into the
early hours of the morning. This year the campaign has also received
some very disturbing reports with photographic proof of animals
being frightened to death. By early November 2005 UK votes for this
campaign have risen more than in the two previous years, which proves
without doubt that new UK laws are completly unaffective and poorly
new UK laws are also supposed to make it an offence for any member
of the public to let fireworks off between 11pm and 7am; a law which
is clearly not being adhered to. Also part of the new UK "Firework
Regulations 2004" act is a ban of the sale of fireworks that
exceed noise levels of 120 decibels and a new licensing scheme has
been introduced for shops wanting to sell fireworks all year round.
many peoples' disappointment that there is still no sign of a law
to ban outright loud and excessive fireworks, the new UK regulations
are so clearly unenforceable that irresponsible use of fireworks
continues around the country ... and judging by your comments it's
already as bad as it ever was.
the Bang! would like to call on the RSPB to begin in-depth research
on the affects of fireworks on the wild bird population. To date,
this issue has never been properly researched - and voters comments
continue to provide evidence of bird deaths directly caused by fireworks.
picture of a drowned badger was sent in by a voter whose neighbour's
noisy firework party caused the animal to panic and run into the
garden pond. For more on this incident see Voters
Comments November 2004
organizations dealing with the elderly and children should also
look into this, since many votes and comments express concern about
frightened children and the elderly - as well as those of any age
with a nervous disposition.
This campaign would like to hear from those of you who are suffering
from continued misuse of fireworks. Your correspondence will be
useful to help support future debates on this issue with governments
both in the UK, Europe and world-wide. If you would like to send
in incidents etc. please use the voting
choose the option to "vote and contribute with a comment".
Photographic evidence is also important, particularly the effects
on birds. As mentioned, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection
of Birds) are surprisingly, still taking a passive role in the argument
as to whether fireworks cause detrimental suffering to wild birds.
As one of our campaign voters pointed out, Ban the Bang is building
up a significant dossier relating to this argument and with voters
help through photographic evidence and reports, we will re-approach
the RSPB with our evidence. To submit a report with photographic
evidence please contact the campaign by using the "Contribute
and Vote option" on the voting
campaign activity and feedback
goes without saying that from around the globe millions of domestic
dogs and cats, as well as horses, are the most common reasons for
people to vote on Ban The Bang! The number of votes from countries
commonly associated with extreme firework use is rising. This is
a good sign that people are beginning to think about the effects
these "bomb" type explosives are having on their environment.
Residents of Italy, France and even Brazil have been casting their
2003 and 2004 Ban the Bang! received many hundreds of comments
- some of which have described very harrowing incidents of
death, injury and terrified behavour of companion animals and wildlife.
But this campaign has also received comments about children and
adults being adversly affected by fireworks. One of these was sent
in by a woman whose husband was killed by a firework at their wedding
Of course, many voters also call for a complete ban of the sale
of all fireworks to the public. In an ideal world this would be
the campaign's first option too, but a balance has to be struck
and the Ban The Bang! proposals call for a sensible compromise,
which aims to eliminate the worst aspects of firework use that cause
distress to animals and communities.
appease firework fans as well, Ban the Bang asks that you read the
Ban The Bang! is not a "killjoy" campaign which
will hopefully provide an acceptable explanation. You can also seek
inspiration from the campaign's page called Enjoy
an environmentally friendly firework display.
Ban the Bang! voting trends are showing that many young people
between the ages of 16 and 21 are voting - particularly those in
Europe. One comment in particular from a teenager in Croatia said
it all in just four words... "Celebration - YES! ... Fireworks
Ban the Bang! posters
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.
here for the poster page.
HERE - Read the proposals then vote to Ban The Public Sale
of Fireworks that Bang
to Ban the Bang! Update Headlines
out why Ban The Bang! is not a "killjoy" campaign
Campaign News and Updates
Reports and incidents