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Next govt challenged to end fireworks carnage

4th November 2008

"Enough Is Enough!" Says Spca

The next government challenged to end fireworks carnage

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The Royal New Zealand SPCA has issued a challenge to the next government to ban private firework sales. The call follows the death of a horse, as a result of a fireworks-related incident in West Auckland last week.

The horse sustained severe wounds, after being spooked by fire crackers set-off close to the Te Atatu Pony Club on the evening of October 27th. The show-jumper required humane euthanasing, when discovered the following morning with crushed facial bones, seven shoulder fractures, a shattered elbow and internal bleeding in the head.

"This tragic case has reinforced our commitment to securing a ban on private firework sales. As far as the SPCA is concerned, enough is enough!" says the Society's National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger.

"We hope that whoever forms the government after this weekend's election will have the fortitude and sense to ban firework sales for private use and will do so early on in the life of the new parliament. We certainly plan to lobby hard in favour of a total ban," she adds.

"The horse in this latest incident must have endured a night of sheer agony before its condition was discovered. The animal's 14-year-old owner has been understandably devastated by what occurred.

"There were 23 other horses in the paddock and they, too, showed signs of being extremely frightened by the fire crackers and were fortunate not to sustain severe injuries. Those responsible appear to have deliberately used the fireworks to terrify the horses.

"It is significant that the incident took place several days before fireworks went officially on sale on November 1st. The only conclusion we can reach is that the fireworks must have been hoarded from a previous year.

"Another clear conclusion is that simply reducing the time in which fireworks can be purchased does not stop animals suffering. Parliament must therefore act to ensure firework purchasing is limited to the organisers of licensed events. This approach has already been applied successfully in all Australian states except the ACT and is long overdue on this side of the Tasman," she says.

"We applaud the trans-Tasman Woolworths/Progressive supermarket chain for its stand in not selling fireworks. This company has set a great example of corporate responsibility.

"Each year, fireworks are responsible for spooking, injuring and often killing a wide range of animal victims, including members of domestic, farm, wild and native species, whilst also destroying native habitats. It's about time this carnage stopped," Robyn Kippenberger adds.

ENDS




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