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Posted: 1st July 2022

BVA comments on new Scottish fireworks bill
The BVA welcomes the Bill, but believes it could go further to safeguard animal welfare.

Organisation highlights concerns over loopholes in policy.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed the news that the Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill has passed, following a debate in Scottish parliament.

Passed yesterday (30 June), the Bill introduces restrictions on the acquisition of fireworks, including a licensing system for people who wish to buy fireworks, designated firework control zones and measures to prevent under-18s from gaining access to fireworks and pyrotechnics.

Given the distressing effect of fireworks on pets and wildlife, the BVA is concerned that the measures introduced do not go far enough to prevent animal suffering during firework displays – a cause which the BVA is committed to.

Junior vice president of the BVA, Malcolm Morley, explained: “Loud and high-pitched fireworks can cause extreme stress and upset for many species of animal as well as having the potential to cause pain and injury if an animal becomes panicked or a firework gets out of control.
  
“These measures are therefore a very welcome step in the right direction. It is vital that the Scottish Government now makes sure that there is adequate resource and guidance in place to ensure these new important rules can be properly enforced.
  
“We remain concerned about loopholes left by exemptions for public displays to continue to take place in designated Firework Control Zones and the lack of licensing requirements for public displays and organised events. 

“These loopholes have the potential to be exploited and may mean that these displays still have the potential to cause stress, harm and potential injury for animals nearby.”




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