RSPCA fears for animals as lockdown prompts more DIY firework displays

Credit: PA

The RSPCA fears this fireworks season could be the worst in decades for animals as more people opt for DIY displays at home due.

Covid restrictions have caused the cancellation of many organised public events.

The animal welfare charity says over the past four years it has received 1,543 calls about fireworks.

The RSPCA is calling for the restriction of the private use of fireworks to agreed traditional dates (November 5, New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year and Diwali) and for the maximum permitted noise level of fireworks for public sale to be reduced to 90 decibels.

The current allowed level is 120 decibels which is equivalent to a jet aircraft taking off.

RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Mark Kennedy says the charity understands "that people enjoy celebrating Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve and other key dates with fireworks and we don’t want to spoil the fun".

He continued: "Due to the Rule of Six and the restrictions on households mixing, we fear that there will be lots of little displays taking place over weeks and weeks, spreading out fireworks noise and causing prolonged distress for animals.

“We’d urge people to be considerate and keep neighbours with animals, including those with nearby horses and other livestock, informed of plans well in advance so they can make preparations to reduce the stress to their animals.”

Wildlife can also be seriously impacted by bonfires and fireworks. Wild animals, like hedgehogs, are at risk of being burnt alive after making their homes inside bonfires and piles of leaves, while some birds will flee their nests or whole colonies can disappear due to noise disturbance.

Dr Mark Kennedy, RSPCA