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SPCA Appalled By Holiday Fireworks Surge

25 January 2006

SPCA Appalled By Holiday Fireworks Surge

The Royal New Zealand SPCA says that it's appalled by the widespread use of fireworks over the summer holiday period and more determined than ever to achieve a ban on the sale of fireworks for personal use.

"The problem used to be isolated to a few weeks around Guy Fawkes' Night. But this pattern has now changed, with large numbers of fireworks going-off right through December and the holiday season," says the SPCA's National Chief Executive, Robyn McDonald.

"Firework noise seemed to reach a crescendo on New Year's Eve. If nothing is done to reverse the current trend, there's a danger December 31st will become a second Guy Fawke's Night within a matter of years.

"Fireworks produce loud screeches, explosions and bright flashes, which can terrify animals and cause them to bolt in panic. It's bad enough that animals should have this terror imposed on them for a couple of weeks in late October and early November. But it's appalling that they should be forced to endure further fright and anguish for months afterwards," she says. Robyn McDonald adds that the dangers to humans, wildlife, native bush and property from irresponsible firework usage are also considerable, with children being particularly vulnerable to firework-related accidents.

"We are currently researching the impact on animals of the extended firework season. We will also be talking to the New Zealand Fire Service, ACC, the Insurance Council of New Zealand and our branches throughout the country, with a view to approaching government to ban firework sales.

"We believe that a large percentage of New Zealanders will approve of such restrictions. Ultimately, it doesn't make sense to expose our children to injury, to scare and hurt our animals or to damage property at the taxpayers' cost, whilst sending money up in smoke," she adds.

ENDS

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