01/03/14 Let's Silence the Firecrackers with Our Signatures

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Animal Friends has launched a petition to ban firecrackers during the days around the New Year's Eve

- Firecrackers can easily scare and hurt animals, and many die of heart attack because of loud explosions

Just like years previous, many people were unable to hold themselves back from celebrating New Year's Eve without firecrackers and other explosive pyrotechnics. Animals hate firecrackers, and so do most of our fellow citizens, who prefer to keep themselves and their families safe and at peace.

Every year dozens of people are injured in the firecracker craze, half of them seriously, and property is damaged. Both children and adults can get hurt while irresponsibly and inexpertly handling pyrotechnics, losing fingers or parts of their hands, and suffering face injuries or burns as a result.

Animals are not spared in this New Year's craze either. The explosive sounds produced by the firecrackers terrifies dogs, cats, birds and other domestic animals along with urban pets by inflicting fear and causing trauma. What's more, those that find themselves near the explosion can suffer various injuries. Besides this risk of direct injury, the high-level noise can also harm their sense of hearing, which is extremely sensitive, and cause mental shock or cardiac arrest. In a panic attack, many animals run out of their courtyards and get lost, trying to protect themselves from the explosive noise.

In Turin, Milan, Venice, Modena, Teramo, and more than 850 other Italian cities and communes, it has been forbidden to use firecrackers even on the New Year's Eve since 2011, and the fine for disobeying the law ranges from 25 to 500 EUR. In Turin, this law is explained primarily by the terror that firecrackers cause in birds, dogs, and cats. It is estimated that around 5,000 companion animals die every year from a heart attack caused by the firecrackers.

In Croatia, the Law on Explosive Substances regulates the selling of pyrotechnics, as well as the season of their use and age limitations, but in practice various forms of pyrotechnics are extensively used and difficult to control. Moreover, even the use of pyrotechnics in accordance with the law can be dangerous and cause injuries, often very serious ones.

The proposed modification of the Law on Explosive Substances would diminish noise and prevent numerous injuries to both humans and animals. The use of firecrackers and other explosive substances of type II and type III should also be prohibited between December 27 and January 1. The arrival of the New Year would continue to be celebrated by public fireworks and pyrotechnics of type I as these would hardly diminish the level of entertainment and would greatly improve the safety of people and animals and also lessen the overall noise.

Animal Friends has therefore launched a petition to ban the use of type II and type III pyrotechnics throughout the year, hoping that future New Year's celebrations will be safer for humans and animals alike.

Petition to ban firecrackers can be signed here.

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