For many, fireworks mean celebration. But for animals, the constant loud popping of the bright lights can have a different effect.
“Panic, that’s the main thing, they don’t understand it, they don’t know what’s going on,” said Hugh Chisholm, a retired veterinarian in Nova Scotia.
Chisholm said that panic can lead to erratic behaviours.
“They don’t know what to do so they run and they keep running. Look at social media after a fireworks event and you’ll see, ‘missing dog, missing dog, horse injured.’”
In January, a family from Canning, N.S., was forced to put their beloved horse down after it got injured due to being spooked by fireworks and running off.
That incident prompted the creation of a Change.org petition to ban consumer fireworks. In the past several months, it’s gained over 14,000 signatures.
With the summer months coming up — usually a prime time for fireworks — the group behind the petition is trying to put pressure on the government to implement the ban.
The provincial government, however, says it has no intention of banning recreational fireworks and that many municipalities have noise bylaws to address the issue.
Hugh Chisholm says those don’t go far enough.
“Noise bylaws don’t work, because half the time you don’t know where the fireworks are being set off,” he said.
“Half the time the police don’t have the time to deal with it or by the time they get there, it’s over with, so we need to have some regulation, some control.”
Online petition calling for fireworks ban gaining momentum
In Nova Scotia, fireworks are currently prohibited in regions under a burn ban, a measure that is updated daily.
The petitioning group says they’re not deterred by the government’s response so far and will continue putting pressure on elected officials.
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