Animal welfare group calls on other councils to follow Midlothian

Labour councilor Adam Montgomery, who has called on the council to ban sales of fireworks to individuals
Labour councilor Adam Montgomery, who has called on the council to ban sales of fireworks to individuals

The Scottish SPCA says it “fully supports” Midlothian Council’s plans to ban the sale of fireworks to members of the public.

At the last full council meeting, a motion by Councillor Adam Montgomery (Lab) calling for a ban on the sale of fireworks to individuals was amended and passed, and will now be taken forward by the Community Planning Board with involvement from police and fire services. Any final decision would have to be agreed by Scottish Ministers.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity has welcomed the proposal and urged other councils to follow Midlothian.

Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “The Scottish SPCA has campaigned for tighter restrictions on the sale and public use of fireworks for many years and fully supports Midlothian Council’s plans.

“We are now urging other councils to follow their example and hope the Scottish Government will support the initiative.

“Current legislation is so relaxed that fireworks can easily be misused and set off on any given day rather than being limited to major festival periods such as Bonfire Night and New Year.

“This leaves pet owners and farmers unable to make adequate provisions for their animals.

“We have been made aware of numerous incidents over the years where animals have come to serious harm and even death as a result of fireworks being set off near them.

“Animals have heightened senses and their hearing is much stronger than ours. The bang from a firework can be petrifying to an animal and some will panic and flee at the sound.

“We are aware of cases where terrified dogs have run off because of the noise and tragically been killed on roads. We have also received reports of swans flying into electricity pylons, horses being badly injured after running through barbed wire fences and farm animals aborting their young.

“We strongly believe this ban would be a positive step forward for animal welfare in Scotland.”