MORE than three quarters of people want the UK Government to limit when fireworks can be set off to only one week around the Bonfire Night celebrations, according to a new poll from the RSPCA.

Ahead of Bonfire Night, the animal charity has launched its #BangOutOfOrder campaign, which aims to end the fear and distress caused by fireworks for innocent animals.

By raising awareness and advocating for responsible behaviour, the campaign seeks to protect animals from harm and encourages UK Governments to review current legislation.

The campaign is calling for several changes to firework regulations to prioritise animal safety:

- Limiting the sale and usage of fireworks: Fireworks should only be sold and let off for Bonfire Night specifically from October 29 to November 5, with similar time limitations for other traditional dates.

- Implementing firework control zones: Prohibit fireworks near horses' habitats, sensitive wildlife areas, farms, animal centres, or zoos to provide better protection for vulnerable individuals and animals.

- Reducing maximum noise levels: The maximum permitted noise level for the public sale of fireworks should be reduced from 120dB to 90dB, in line with international standards, to mitigate noise pollution and protect animals and individuals.

The RSPCA’s research showed that, out of the people polled:

  • More than 3 in 4 (76%) UK adults think the UK government should limit days on which fireworks can be let off for Bonfire Night.

  • 69% agreed that the UK Government should limit the sale of fireworks

  • 73% think firework control zones should be introduced

  • 68% want the maximum permitted noise levels of fireworks for public sale to be reduced from 120db to 90dbs

The charity is also releasing its top tips for pet and animal owners to help keep them safe - at a time when many feel the fireworks season seems to last more than ever, potentially causing longer periods of distress for many animals.

Carrie Stones, campaign manager at the RSPCA, said: “Fireworks are impacting animals each and every year - both during firework season when marked to celebrate traditional events and - more unexpectedly - out of season for other occasions. While many people enjoy watching displays, for many animals the dazzling spectacle of fireworks often becomes a terrifying ordeal.

“Sadly we are inundated with calls each year about welfare concerns for animals connected to fireworks and we hear first hand how frustrated the public are that the Bonfire Night period seems to last longer than ever before.”

Last year, 18,899 people joined the #BangOutOfOrder campaign, helping us make more people than ever before aware of the devastating impact of fireworks on animals.

People whose pets are struggling with fireworks can report this via the RSPCA’s online impact form.

To get involved with the campaign, visit the RSPCA’s website, where people can fill in a form to email their MP.

RSPCA top tips

  • Provide your dog or cat with a safe haven - Create a doggy den in a quiet area of the house and make it a special safe place by placing tasty treats and favourite toys inside. Make sure your cats always have access to plenty of places around the house to hide. 

  • Pheromone diffusers - Speak to your vet about using a calming collar or diffuser which disperses calming pheromones which may help your dog or cat feel more secure.

  • Introduce changes to your pet’s routine slowly - It’s sensible to keep your horse in a familiar environment, following their normal routine with their usual companions. If you’re planning to bring your horse or livestock into a stable or barn overnight during fireworks, start to introduce the change of routine now to get them used to being in. We recommend walking dogs during daylight during fireworks season so if this is different to your normal routine, begin to alter the time of your pet’s walk to get them gradually used to it. 

  • Provide extra bedding - Rabbits, guinea pigs and other small animals who live outside should have extra bedding to burrow into or you can cover their housing with a blanket for extra sound-proofing. Begin to introduce this now.

  • Bringing pets inside -  If you’re planning to bring them indoors to better protect them then start to make this change ahead of fireworks night to get them used to the new sights, smells and sounds inside. 

  • Speak to neighbours - If you want to plan for dates of local displays then check local press and websites and speak to your neighbours and local councils/schools etc to find out dates ahead of time so you can plan now to help your pet. Ask organisers to site fireworks well away from your horse and aimed in the opposite direction.

  • Soundproof your house - Simple steps like closing windows and curtains can help your house seem safer to your pet so begin doing this now if it’s different to normal to get your pet used to it.

  • Pop the radio on - tune into Classic FM’s ‘Pet Classics’ programme, in partnership with the RSPCA, on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th November - so your pet can enjoy soothing and comforting classical music, handpicked by Classic FM to help calm and settle any anxious pet. 

  • Start desensitising them to sounds - Teach your pet to deal with the sounds by using training CDs. We recommend Sounds Scary which comes with guidance on how to use it. You can also muffle the sound of fireworks for dogs and other pets by using calming music like classical playlists - start to introduce this now. This is a long-term approach so may be worth starting now ahead of next year. 

  • Get help - If your pet has a severe fireworks fear then speak to your vet  now to come up with a plan or to discuss whether there are any treatment options to help them. If necessary, your vet can refer you to a professional clinical animal behaviourist.