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Fireworks Petrify Pets and Spook Stock

Fireworks Petrify Pets and Spook Stock

Dr Cath Watson, the president of the New Zealand Veterinary Association’s (NZVA) Companion Animal Society is encouraging the public to consider the welfare of their animals this Guy Fawkes Night while enjoying the festivities.

“Harming and terrifying animals is not only illegal, it is unethical, unkind and wrong. Fireworks go on sale tomorrow and veterinarians are concerned about the injuries and terror that fireworks cause to animals,”

“Every year animals are brought into clinics with unnecessary and often very painful injuries and trauma, either directly or indirectly related to fireworks,” she said.

Of course veterinarians, like everyone else, love to see well-managed firework displays, but we are concerned at the damage this can do to animals, both physically and psychologically. Every year our members have to deal with situations related to the inappropriate or thoughtless use of fireworks around animals.

One such example is as horse which needed to be put to sleep after it spent the night stuck in a barbed wire fence after attempting to escape the sound of fireworks from nearby houses.
In another situation a dog was so traumatised that it ran from fireworks until the pads on its feet were worn out.

“The bottom line is - animal welfare matters. Keep your pets and stock safe this Guy Fawkes, and if you are planning a fireworks party, give some consideration to your neighbours and their animals” Dr Cath Watson said.

Keep companion animals indoors
The NZVA recommends that companion animals, like cats and dogs, should be kept inside, preferably with curtains drawn and windows closed. Turning on the radio or television can create a familiar sound, and can drown some of the fireworks noises out. If dogs or cats hide under beds, leave them there until the fireworks finish – they feel safe under that bed.

Farmers should keep stock clear of known fireworks venues
Farmers might want to check paddock fences are secure so frightened stock can’t escape, and they could move stock away from locations where fireworks might be ignited before Guy Fawkes.

Microchip your pets
And, just in case your pet does run away, think seriously about getting your pets microchipped and registered. More than 80% of homeless cats found with microchips after the Canterbury earthquakes were reunited with their families. Yet, only 15% of unchipped cats were identified and returned to their owners.


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