Fireworks are being set off earlier and earlier every year, but many people fail to acknowledge the stress they cause for animals. In the last 5 years, the RSPCA has received over 1600 calls about fireworks and their effects on animals. We are hoping that, by raising awareness, more people will start to consider pets, wildlife, and other animals when releasing the loud, colourful bangs otherwise known as fireworks.

With the cancellation of many public events and large gatherings last year, many people opted to hold private displays at home instead. We expect this trend to continue in 2021, as a recent poll revealed that at least 52% of UK adults will be holding their own displays this year. This is in comparison to 29% in 2019.

We recognise that fireworks are majorly associated with Bonfire Night, but our vital message for 2021 is to encourage the public to consider their neighbours and notify those with animals so that they can prepare in advance.

It's not just dogs who will be cowering in their beds and shaking uncontrollably. 

As well as distressing domesticated animals, fireworks are also damaging to farm animals and wildlife. The sudden flashes of bright light and loud noises produced by fireworks can startle farm animals and cause them to injure themselves on fencing. Wildlife, such as hedgehogs, are at risk of being burnt alive as they are known to make their homes in bonfires. The best advice is not to build your bonfire too long before you need it, and check for any small critters before setting it alight. Fireworks are also highly disturbing to birds and have previously resulted in them abandoning their nests.

We appreciate that Bonfire Night cannot be halted for the sake of animals, but we hope that you will consider animals' fear before your own personal cheer. There are alternative, safer ways to celebrate.