12/26/17 Stop the Firecracker Terror!
Animal Friends Croatia demands a legal ban on pyrotechnics and New Year’s Eve without wounded children and animals
- Animal Protection Act forbids the use of firecrackers, with a fine ranging between 10 and 30 thousand Croatian kuna
Even though pyrotechnics may be used from December 27th to January 1st, Animal Friends Croatia has again received numerous calls from citizens complaining of the firecracker terror during the December, which especially affects animals.
Loud detonations and explosions of firecrackers are a sort of “entertainment” that results in terrified, traumatized, and sometimes even wounded dogs, cats, birds, and other domestic and wild animals. Besides the fact that a high level of noise can damage their sense of hearing, which is far more sensitive than that of humans and can thus cause a mental shock or a heart attack, many animals hit by firecrackers suffer burns or get hit by a car if they run away in panic and terror.
Back in 2015, Animal Friends Croatia submitted a petition for the ban of firecrackers with more than 15,000 signatures, asking for a drastically stricter Law on explosive matters, with a complete prohibition of the sale and use of type II and III pyrotechnics throughout the whole year.
Even though the legislation was indeed improved in July this year, Luka Oman from Animal Friends has stated the following: “It is praiseworthy that the law now foresees fines between 1,000 and 3,000 Croatian kuna for the parents and caretakers whose children throw firecrackers, and that the fines for the unlawful use of pyrotechnics have been raised to 15,000 kuna. However, owing to the easy accessibility of pyrotechnics and their frequent misuse, it is difficult to control the implementation of the legal provisions. Therefore we still demand that the pyrotechnics of categories F2 and F3 be prohibited throughout the whole year.”
In 2011, more than 850 Italian cities, towns, and municipalities banned the use of firecrackers on New Year’s Eve. Since 2016, the town of Collecchio in Parma allows only silent fireworks, in order to prevent the traumatization of dogs. Similar bans have been issued in various other communities in Europe and the world.
Firecrackers are not only a nightmare for the animals - they may cause serious injuries in children, including facial disfiguration, loss of hearing and sight, and mutilation of fingers and hands. Just last year, more than 30 people were injured by pyrotechnics, most of them children. Loud noises from pyrotechnics may seriously affect small children and elderly people, but they also disturb all those who wish to spend the holidays and festivities in safety. The consequences are also visible in material injury and environmental pollution.
Animal Friends Croatia advises everyone to keep animals in the house and ensure a place where they can feel safe. Closing the window shutters reduces the noise, and music inside might mask the sound of firecrackers. Having a caretaker in the immediate vicinity of animals would help as well. As a last resort, the use of tranquilizers may help, but only those intended for animals.
Animal Friends Croatia would like to remind the community that the new Animal Protection Act prohibits throwing firecrackers and other pyrotechnics at animals, with fines ranging from 10,000 to 30,000 Croatian kuna.
We should not allow our festivities to get ruined by ambulance sirens, and we should not spend holidays in hospitals and veterinary clinics instead of our warm homes.