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Ban the Bang!
2014 Campaign Update

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.
Keeping the campaign focused - avoiding multiple petitions and how you can help through social media.

CURRENT STATUS
This UK 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.
By this we mean:
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.
It’s Catch 22.
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 animals.
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:
First, 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 (silent) 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.
The 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 fireworks".

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.
There are 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 its goal.

* 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 accordingly.

FINALLY
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.

 

 

2011 to 2013 News Update
Even more votes than ever ...

Although Ban 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.

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

UK 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.

Pending 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.

Canadian 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.

Ban 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:
www.veggieglobal.com/lafan or www.looking-glass.co.uk/lafan and apply free to LaFAN .

News 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 to reply.

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.
Please read the follow-up to this incident here

New UK laws make no difference
(updated from 2004/5)

In 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!

As 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 in prison.

Throughout 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 enforced.

The 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.

Beside 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.

Ban 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.

Badger drowned by firework noise - read more

This 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

Equally, 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 page and 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 page

Global campaign activity and feedback

It 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 votes.

Throughout 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 reception.
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.

To appease firework fans as well, Ban the Bang asks that you read the section Why 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 - NO!".

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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Read voters comments

More Campaign News and Updates
Reports and incidents
Voters comments


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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