The Scottish Government is consulting on possible further regulation with regard to fireworks.
These things are a menace and a killer.
As an animal rights charity, we have a particular interest in their well documented damaging effects on animals.
As whatever and whoever causes suffering to non-humans usually causes suffering in the wider community, we also acknowledge the damaging impact on those with dementia, war veterans, those who have experienced trauma, and others.
Taking the big picture into account, free availability of devices, and the current circumstances in which they can be discharged, is unjustifiable.
Scotland for Animals supports the introduction of the following measures;
- Enforcement of existing legislation limiting the discharging of fireworks, e.g. under the Explosives Act.
- A ban on the general sale of fireworks. I.e. a ban on the purchase, possession or discharging of fireworks without a licence.
- Any devices provided, sold or discharged should be of reduced noise type.
- Criteria for any licence to discharge should take into account any potential impacts on animal welfare, and any conviction for crimes against animals should be material in consideration of a licence to possess.
- Further restriction on permitted times when fireworks can be discharged.
- Stronger penalties for breaches.
We recognise that some powers relating to fireworks are reserved. We would welcome more work to devolve these with an assurance that they will be used to end the bangs, or commitment to apply pressure upon the UK government to make these changes.
We must point out however that a well worn issue is again rearing it’s head: Headline grabbing promises of action, when powers already available which could provide much remedial action are not being utilised.
We feel a commitment to enforcement of current legislation, such as the banning of discharge of fireworks in a public place, is every bit as important as any new rules.
You can see the consultation documents here. You don’t need to complete all questions, you can also email your proposals and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org Include your full name and address and whether you give permission for your response to be public and for you to be contacted in future.