An Oasby woman heading up a campaign group to restrict the public use of fireworks outside of the traditional Bonfire Night period has seen the issue debated in Parliament.
Julie Doorne heads the 19,000-strong campaign group Firework Abatement or FAB for short.
One of the group’s aims has been to raise awareness of a petition – instigated by Julie – calling for the Government to restrict the use of fireworks to reduce stress and fear in animals and pets.
The petition has gained more than 100,000 signatures to be debated in Parliament.
Julie, from Oasby, felt she needed to launch this petition in light of two incidents. The first was when a friend’s horse reacted in fear to domestic fireworks and suffered injuries that led to its death. The second was when an unexpected display led to Julie’s own horse running in panic.
With current legislation the public do not have to give prior notice of domestic firework displays, prompting Julie’s action.
Julie said: “We are asking for a reduction in days in which domestic fireworks can be used so people will know when to expect fireworks and are able to prepare for them.”
She added: “I am very grateful to everyone who has backed the petition and helped it to gain the support it now has.”
The campaign has been supported by the RSPCA.
Fireworks FAB Campaign group have been actively campaigning over the last few years for firework use by the general public to be restricted to ten days in the year, not the 365 that are currently allowed.
Julie said: “We have based our campaigning around random fireworks, which we have discovered cause more distress than organised displays. When we refer to random fireworks we are referring to fireworks that are used outside of the traditional periods and are not part of an organised display, those fireworks that are used in back gardens up and down the country on any given day at any time.
“Although it is legal to use fireworks 365 days a year from 7am to 11pm (later on the traditional dates) the distress to society caused by these random unexpected fireworks is widespread. We at FAB believe that by limiting the use of fireworks by the general population it will benefit the many animals and people affected by random fireworks.”
She said many animals are frightened by fireworks and will take any opportunity to run away, this can result not only in a much loved family pet going missing but can result in an injury or even death.
This also affects farming livestock in fields and wildlife. FAB is aware of many animals having to be euthanised due to injury caused either by fireworks or by the use of fireworks in the immediate area causing them to bolt in panic.
Julie added: “Many people with or without illness are distressed by the use of them. In the USA they ask that neighbours are respectful of those veterans who have PTSD during fireworks.
FAB’s petition has been debated in Parliament and received support from the SSPCA along with many other charities and organisations. The BHS (British Horse Society) have recently agreed to support the campaign.
Fireworks FAB Campaign Group will be actively asking those planning back garden events to be considerate as these may cause more distress if separate households let off fireworks over a series of nights. They suggest people go to organised events.
Julie says: “They are bigger, better and safer than anything the general public could hope to do in in a back garden setting. In addition, the dates and times are well publicised giving those affected time to be prepared.”
You can sign the petition on: http://chn.ge/28RqwnD .
They are asking the Prime Minister Theresa May to stop random back garden firework use and restrict to traditional dates.
For more information you can join the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/FireworkABatement